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Lect 1-law.docx

10 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 3310
Justin Friesen

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Psyc & Law Outline: 1) investigations 2) interrogation & confessions 3) innocent suspects 4) video: Mr. Big 1) Safeguards in the Canadian Justice Systems - presumption of innocence - charges must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt - trial by jury of one's peers - prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizure - exclusion of prejudicial, irrelevant, or inappropriately obtained evidence - appeal rights - cannot be compelled to testify against oneself (charter rights, give evidence against yourself) Examples of wrongful convictions in Canada - Thomas Sophonow (1983, murder, 4 years in prison) - David Milgaard (1979, 20 years in prison) - Guy Paul Morin (1984, murder, 3 years in prison) - Steven Truscott (1950, 10 years in prison) - Donald Marshall Jr. "Atriple wrong" (MacFarlane, 2008) - An innocent person has been convicted - Aguilty person has gone free - The victim and their family have been re-victimized (sense of closure, then find out the mistake, opens up old wounds) Predisposing circumstances - Public and media pressure to solve a crime and prosecute the offender (pressure to solve the crime, and leads to psychological circumstances, confirmation bias) - Cases where the public reacts to the background or circumstances of the offender; e.g. "an outsider" or minority group forgotten) Biased attention (Kelley, 1950) - "people who know him consider him to be a rather cold person, industrious, critical, practical, and determined" - didnt like him, not friendly, not engaged - "people who know him consider him to be a rather warm person, industrious, critical, practical, and determined" - people liked him, more engaged, asked questions - interpreting the person as the note said - same with justice system, initial thoughts Biased interpretation - Proponents and opponents of capital punishment - Given information that was pro or anti capital punishment - When findings contradict one's views, they're seen as less rigorous and convincing Biased memory - Do people revise their memories to be consistent with subsequent schemas? - Read a "case history" about Barbara and Jack, who are a couple - end of story one is good (propose), one is bad (sexual assault) - when story ended good, remember proposal/romantic parts, forgot jack losing tempter sometimes - when story ended bad, more likely to remember violence of story, less romantic, e.g. jack likes to drink when it wasn't in story - Participants were more likely to remember schema-consistent information Consequences of confirmation bias - participants in a mock trial listened to a audio-taped reenactment of a trial - a bar fight that ended in murder - first degree (premeditated) murder? - second degree murder (with malice) murder - manslaughter (responsibility but not malice) - self- defence (no guilt) - jurors who only focused on confirming information chose more extreme verdicts and were more certain in their decisions (more likely of extreme verdict on either side, more certain of their decision) Tunnel vision in the Morin case - "… tunnel vision means the single-minded and overly narrow focus on a particular investigative or prosecutorial theory, so as to unreasonably colour the evaluation of information received and one's conduct in response to that information" StevenAvery Case - Early but mistaken eyewitness identification by victim - Police focused on him despite 16 alibi witnesses - Exonerated by DNAevidence in 2003 Solution? Seek disconfirming information - "All writers on the general theory of investigation appear to agree that looking for disconfirming evidence is the preferable way to structure an investigat
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