Lecture Study Questions
History of the Trial
central legal themes of Hammurabi's Code:
o Innocence until proven guilty.
o Prosecution and Defense of the accused.
o Penalties for false-accusations.
What was radical about Aeshylus's portrayal of Orestes' trial?
o He suggested human honesty was equal to the gods’ wisdom. If people tell truth, we
can judge them without first appealing to gods.
What two competing ideas about justice began in the 5th Century?
o Mens Rea – The guilty mind. Crime is not crime without intent.
o Actus Reus – The act is also important because some crimes are too heinous to go
What is the essential feature of rhetoric, as described by Cicero? How does that play out in
o Putting forward points that are “Truthy” even if not absolutely true. Today, it is
“advocacy”. Legal representation.
What was the purpose of laws developed in Justinian's Rome?
o To get rid of vigilante revenge.
What is the original essence of an oath?
o A pledge to the gods. If dishonest, bad things happen.
How was a Trial by Ordeal believed to serve justice?
o If the gods knew an oath to be false, he would fail the ordeal.
When was evidence first introduced in courts?
o 1200 – “Probatio” = proof.
How did the concept of mens rea come to be? What does it state?
o Began in 5 C BCE, the notion that guilt requires a guilty mind.
o In use in the first trials by evidence in 1200 CE
Why was torture developed? Does it work?
o During the inquisition in 1250 CE
o Nope! But they had no concept of coercion until Voltaire
What ended forever with Pope Formosus' trial?
o Putting dead people on trial
What legal defense did Chassonnee make for the rats of Autun?
o No defendant should be required to risk their safety by appearing to court.
o The rats would have been eaten by village cats.
How did jury trials begin in England?
o 1220 CE – 1 woman snitched on 5 male accomplices.
o Trial by combat couldn’t be used because it was unfair.
o Everybody agreed to be judged by 12 property owners from their neighborhood. WSM
This is why juries have 12 people. It just kinda stuck.
What was the Star Chamber used for?
o England had established many fair and public courts by the 16thC CE
o Star Chamber could punish without trial on things that weren’t even crimes.
What legal principles developed from the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh? Why?
o Courts existed to limit state power as well as enforce it.
o Prosecutions could be unfair even if guilty – Raleigh convicted of treason on hearsay
o Justice was done only if it was seen to be done
o All this lead to Discovery.
What is meant by Discovery?
o The defendant is entitled to know all evidence to be used against them.
o Hearsay is banned. Only first-person accounts can be given.
o Presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
Why were public executions stopped in Britain?
o In the 18 C, attendance was huge. It became a spectacle event.
o Had no deterrent power – Lots of theft in crowds watching executions.
What was the original intention of penitentiaries?
o For “Penitents” – People who’d repented and could be saved.
Who was Hugo Munsterberg and why is he important to forensic psychology?
o He was the first psychologist to suggest that knowledge of the mind could help the
Trier of Fact
o Wigmore was a lawyer. Said that Munsterberg overstepped his claims.
“You’re not wrong, Hugo, you’re just an asshole”.
What are the Frye and Daubert standards for admissibility of expert testimony?
o Research must generally be accepted and follow good methodology.
o Research must be experimental in nature (falsifiable, have a known error rate, uses
o Used in America
What are the Mohan criteria?
o Used in Canada
o Evidence must be
Beyond the basic knowledge of the Trier of Fact
Not break rules of exclusion (eg. be leading in some way)
Presented by an expert
In what essential ways, do legal and psychological paradigms clash?
o Scientific method vs. Adversarial process
o Descriptive vs. Prescriptive discourse
o Probability vs. Certainty
o Abstract vs. Applied
o Proactive vs. Reactive WSM
What are the similarities of physical and memory evidence? What is the main difference?
o Both leave a physical trace of some kind.
o But, Memory is subject to being altered or fabricated completely.
What appear to be the misconceptions in the criminal justice system's operative theory of
o CJS tends to treat memory as if it isn’t subject to events that take place after its
What evidence issues led to the wrongful conviction of Ivan henry?
o A biased police line-up in which Henry was held in a headlock by police.
o Ineffective ‘foils’.
How does DNA evidence help? Why is it limited?
o If found, it can positively identify that someone was on the scene.
o It’s not always found. Tends to require physical contact with the victim.
What memory evidence problems occurred in the case of Thomas Brewster?
o The victim was biased over time by repeated exposure to his photo.
Source Monitoring Failure
o She eventually came to falsely identify him as the perpetrator.
What is the basic paradigm of Loftus's research on memory implantation?
o False information after a crime can easily be incorporated into memory.
o 20-25% of false events are remembered.
o Ss read stories provided by family about childhood, one of which is false. They then
check off whether or not they believe they recall the events.
What is the basic conclusion?
o 20% false memories remembered with high confidence.
How was the "lost in a mall" study designed to be convincing to ss?
o A good amount of time had elapsed between being told the story and being tested.
o Ss asked to recall as much as possible
What were its results?
o Remembering 25% of false cues.
What percentage of ss are prone to create false memories? What are their psychological
characteristics? Are they confident the memories are real?
o High on Dissociative Experience Scale: real memories, then, don’t contain more
detail than planted memories.
What was the basic design of the Spanos study on implanted memory?
o Ss were tested for Dissociation and were told they were insightful and intuitive.
o Told that this was probably because of brightly coloured mobiles hanging above crib
in hospital on day of birth. WSM
o Then, hypnotic regression – hypnosis going back through time in the Ss’ lives.
o They overwhelmingly incorporate impossible birth-day memories.
o Half of hypnotizes say they were real memories.
What credible sources of interpretation of symptoms may generate false memories in
o All you need to create a false memory is..
A credible source
An initial priming.
What factors (both internal and external) led Paul Ingram to confess to sex crimes?
o Being accused by daughters whom he trusts.
o Believing god doesn’t allow false memory recovery.
o Confirmation biasing – believing he hasn’t been affectionate with them lately.
o Coercion by police.
How did Ingram's police colleague explain his guilt to themselves?
o He had repressed memories; they’d come back if he confessed.
What changes did his daughters memories go through?
o The convoluted over time, became intricate, satanic, and involving more than sexual
What is the evidence for (against) satanic ritual abuse?
o No evidence has ever been found.
What was the myth of SRA amongst social workers?
o 50% of social workers believed in a Satanic cult that would abuse people
What factors lead psychologists to believe clients’ accounts of SRA?
o 25% of them were treating people for very strong accounts of SRA experiences.
What is dissociative amnesia?
o Loss of memory from trauma. Amnesiacs are highly suggestible.
What are the diagnostic criteria for PTSD - do they support repression of memories of
victimization by SRA?
o Recurring, distressing recollections of trauma. Trauma must be life-threatening for
o No, they don’t support the notion of SRA because traumatized people don’t tend to
have late onset of ptsd symptoms.
How did Ofshe discover Ingram's tendency to internalize and accept accusations?
o He got Ingram to internalize and falsely confess to something he’d done to his son.
What was suggested by the physical evidence in the Ingram case?
o No scars or trauma to be found anywhere on the daughters.
o No evidence of abortions
What is meant by the symptom trap?
o The symptoms of trauma are used as proof that the trauma took place. WSM
There must have been a traumatic event, because there are symptoms.
o Ignores that symptoms may be caused by other things.
What does memory research find about repressed memories?
o Repression doesn’t really tend to happen. We tend to remember trauma more
vividly than other events.
When do our earliest verifiable memories occur?
o 3 Years of age.
What is meant by the term "childhood amnesia"?
o Any trauma before 2 years of age is forgotten.
What are the 3 types of false confession according to Kassin?
o Coerced Compliant, Coerced Internalized, Voluntary.
What was the basic design of his research paradigm to generate false confessions in the
o Having subjects at computers set to crash. People are accused of causing it to crash.
Did it work? Under which conditions were the most false confessions produced?
o When accuser’s story is corroborated, everyone complied.
o 100% compliance, 66% internalized, 33% confabulated.
According to Ekman, how accurate are professionals at detecting deception?
o In short, not very.
o Most inaccurate people used speech-cues alone.
o Confidence negatively correlated with accuracy.
o Secret Service – 64% accurate. They were the best.
What are basic assumptions of polygraph testing?
o That lying has physiological changes associated with it.
How does the control question test (CQT) work? I.e. what is measured and what is
o CQT has 3 types of questions: Baseline, Control and Relevant.
o If arousal greater in relevant than control, guilty.
What are the assumptions this test makes about guilt and arousal?
o Guilty parties will be more aroused by incriminating questions in relevant than in
How is the test scored?
o A scale from +/-0-3 depending on strength of difference.
o When relevant stronger than control, negative score given.
o When control stronger than relevant, positive score given.
o If score >-6 but <6, inconclusive result.
What problems with the test were noted by Raskin? WSM
o Subjectivity – The tester has a lot of ability to sway results.
o Most assigned scores are 0 or 1 – effects being measured are minimal.
o Hard to devise appropriate control questions.
What other problems exist with the test?
o Not standardized – choice of controls questions is subjective
o Easy to fool.
How does the guilty knowledge test (GKT) work? I.e. What is measured and what is
o The suspect is asked multiple choice questions about the crime. The possible answers
are read aloud.
o When the correct answer is read, a physiological reaction is produced.
What problems exist with the guilty knowledge test?
o It requires crime details to be secret
o Doesn’t work if suspect was present but not perpetrator.
o Guilty people can forget details of a crime.
Are "countermeasures" effective at beating the test? How do we know?
o Yes. Honts 1990. Ss with minimal training could beat the test half of the time.
How accurate is the CQT? How do lab and field experiments agree or disagree on this
o Generally pretty good at true positives (~80%)
o More false positives.
What is the problem with using original examiners in test accuracy assessments?
o They are more accurate than others.
How accurate in the GKT? How do we know?
o Great at true negative. ~90% of the time. More false negatives.
What is the "ground truth criterion" problem?
o People spontaneously confess after being accused by polygraph.
Which types of error differentiate the CQT from the GKT?
o CQT = False Positives
o GKT = False Negatives
What is the undeutsch hypothesis?
o That the content of speech is quantifiably different in remembered statements than
in fantasy statements.
What are the assumptions of statement validity assessment?
o That people speak differently about memories than about fantasies.
How are the f and k test used to assess faking reports on the MMPI-2?
o They measure malingering and defensiveness. F = faking bad (malingering), K =
Faking good (defensiveness).
What was the basis for the development of the MMPI-2?
o Empirical basis for mental-health diagnosis.
What are the validity scales in the MMPI? How does each work? WSM
o Fb, VRIN, TRINL , F and K scale.
L scale observes minor character flaws that most would admit to.
Therefore, L measures impression management.
F measures reporting of rare symptoms or weird combinations of
K measures how similar responses are to disturbed individuals.
VRIN and TRIN measure answer consistency.
Fb scale measures uncommon answers. Attentional attrition.
What is the basic premise of the structured interview of reported symptoms?
o SIRS is designed to find malingerers.
What sub scales does it have? What do they measure?
o Rare symptoms, symptom combinations, improbable / absurd symptoms, Blatant /
subtle symptoms, Severity of symptoms, selectivity of symptoms, reported vs.
observed symptoms, onset, specificity, and inconsistency.
What 2 designs are used to test the scale? What are their limitations?
o Simulation Design – Get people to fake mental illness to see if the test picks it up.
o Known-Groups design – Get unhealthy people and malingerers to do the test.
How accurate is the SIRS?
o 95-100% accurate if indicators are strong.
Study Guide - Deterrence
What are deterrence, specific deterrence and general deterrence?
o Deterrence – The ability of the state to reduce crime level via sanctions
o Specific Deterrence – Reducing recidivism through sanctions on the individual level.
o General Deterrence – Reducing crime for the whole population by setting an
What are the 3 characteristics of punishment that decrease punished actions?
o Swiftness, Certainty, Severity.
To be punished for a crime by the criminal justice system, what has to first occur?
o Reporting, Detection, Response.
How might each of these steps lower the p (punishment)?
o As you go from response to conviction, not 100% of criminals will pass each level.
Probability of conviction splinters.
How might severity of sanctions operate against swiftness of sanctions?
o By jamming up the court system because harsher punishments cause criminals to
spend more on great defense attorneys and juries are less likely to hand out
What differentiates the economic and sociological theories of cr