Study Guide_history of the trial_evidence_and credibility.docx

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University of British Columbia
PSYC 331
Don Dutton

Study GuideHistory of the Trial 1 What were the central legal themes of Hammurabis CodeIf anyone ensnares publically accuse someone of a crime another that person will have a ban upon them if the accuser couldnt prove the crime then they were put to deathAn eye for an eyeBefore there were laws there was ever lasting vengeance laws were created as an alternative to thisIntroduction of presumption of innocence innocent until proven guiltyBoth the accused and accuser were able to present evidenceHarsh sentences for falsely accusing someoneHammurabis Code of Law o Introduces the presumption of innocence that guilt must be proven o Both the accused and the accuser have chance to provide evidenceo Harsh sentences Lex talionis an eye for an eye o Including harsh sentences for false accusationsequal to what the accused would have received if found guilty 2 What was radical about Aeshyluss portrayal of Orestes trialOnly the gods could decide guilt or innocence until Aeschylus created the Greek play write Orestian Trilogy o He wrote about the trial of Oresties who murdered his mother after the mother killed the father who killed the daughter Matricide Orestes kills his mother Clytemnestra with a knife for having killed his father Agamemnon with an axe but she killed Agamemnon for killing their daughter Iphigenia o Orestes is tried by a jury of 10 peers Aeschylus tried by a jury of 10 peers selected by Pallas Athenagoddess of wisdom and Warfare the jury tied 5 guilty 5 not guilty and Athena cast a vote for Orestes o Then the goddess of wisdom says that there should be a jury in all cases Athena declares that juries will be used in all future homicide cases o Aeschylus suggested that human honesty was equivalent to the wisdom of the gods this was a radical idea at the time 3 What two competing ideas about justice began in the 5th CenturyYou need to have a guilty mind the act itself does not make you guilty unless its accompanied by a guilty mind one was at fault only if they had done evil deliberately mens rea the standard common law test of criminal liability is usually expressed in the Latin phrase actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea reusguilty the culprit which means the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind be also guiltyThis central tenet of law provides the bridge from law to psychologyThere are some deeds that are so bad that they need to be punished just to appease the gods but some deeds demanded punishment regardless of perpetrators intent if the rage of the gods was to be forestalled kept scapegoats for this purposelived well at public expense until plague or famine struck then hounded from homes paraded about city hounded out of city gates under hair of stonesKillers were infected with deadly vapours killers were infected with deadly vapours miasmaabhorrent to the gods suspected killers were barred from the marketplace and the temple could only clear their name through a trialalternative was to be exiled a willingness to take complaints to court developedPeople began to take complaints to court 4 What is the essential feature of rhetoricas described by Cicero How does that play out in todays courts st Cicero developed advocacy 1 lawyer and rhetoric about advancing points which look like the truth even if they do not correspond with it exactly 5 What was the purpose of laws developed in Justinians RomeAppeal for vengeance became central to lawrevenge was a driving motiveNew laws were developed to bring revenge motive to a form of collective justice instead of private revenge under state controlThe Vengeance motive Lex talionis an eye for an eyeBattles often broke out in court in N Europe people came to court fully armedViolence is seen as being more acceptable if it is in the service of vengeance along with vigilantesThese undermine the criminal justice system 6 What is the original essence of an oathOaths and ordeals went as far back as law itselfwas a pledge to the godsOaths were given not to the evidence but to someones honestyIf enough people swore to ones innocence could then have trial by ordealoutcome of ordeal revealed Gods willAn oath is an ancient concept which meant that you were pulling gods attention to what was happening in the trial a pledge to the gods and calling them to overlook the trial People used to have to give the oath next to a dead animalTrial by morsel swear innocence eat blessed bread and swallowed it without choking then you were innocentTrial by water if you sunk you were innocent and if you floated you were guiltyTrial by combat whoever dies is guiltyThere was no word for evidence until 1200 when the word triatio holding an inquiry was created if you didnt know what you were doing you could not be judged as guilty
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