Study Guide - History of the Trial
1. What were the central legal themes of Hammurabi's Code?
Introduces the presumption of innocence (that guilt must be proven); innocent until proven guilty
Both the accused and the accuser have chance to provide evidence
Harsh sentences Lex talionis (an eye for an eye)
Penalties for false-accusations
2. What was radical about Aeshylus's portrayal of Orestes' trial?
Aeschylus suggested that human honesty was equivalent to the wisdom of the gods (this was a
radical idea at the time); now people can decide innocence and guilt; not just gods
3. What two competing ideas about justice began in the 5th Century?
You 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)
Mens Rea – The guilty mind. Crime is not crime without intent.
Actus Reus – The act is also important because some crimes are too heinous to go unpunished.
There 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 perpetrator’s intent if the rage of the gods was to
4. What is the essential feature of rhetoric , as described by Cicero? How does that play out in
Cicero: developed advocacy (1 lawyer?) and rhetoric “about advancing points which look like the
truth even if they do not correspond with it exactly”
Putting forward points that are “Truthy” even if not absolutely true. Today, it is “advocacy”. Legal
5. What was the purpose of laws developed in Justinian's Rome?
New laws were developed to bring revenge motive to a form of collective justice instead of private
revenge under state control
The Vengeance motive: Lex talionis (an eye for an eye)
The purpose of laws developed in Justinian’s Rome was to get rid of vigilante revenge
6. What is the original essence of an oath?
Oath was a pledge to the gods about someone’s honesty
If enough people swore to one’s innocence could then have trial by ordeal—outcome of ordeal
revealed God’s will An 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
7. How was a Trial by Ordeal believed to serve justice?
The winner of the combat revealed God’s choice; if god knew an oath to be dishonest he who
pledged the oath would fail the ordeal
8. When was evidence first introduced in courts?
1200: probatio (proof): evidence and verdict were the same thing
By mid 1200’s triatio came into use: the notion began of holding an inquiry
Anselm: sins made in ignorance are pardonable, not those done knowingly
9. How did the concept of mens rea come to be? What does it state?
5 century stated: the act doesn’t make a person guilty unless the mind be also guilty
10. Why was torture developed? Does it work?
It was developed to extract a confession as a solution to the “witness problem”
Two witness rule: if two witnesses agree on something it is fact; couldn’t have witnesses to heresy
torture didn’t work, but there was no concept of coercion until Voltaire
11. What ended forever with Pope Formosus' trial?
All future trials of corpses was forbidden
12. What legal defence did Chassonnee make for the rats of Autun?
People in the town of Autun petitioned the court that rats were destroying the barley crop
Chassenne argued that no defendant should be required to risk their safety by appearing to court.
o The rats would have been eaten by village cats.
13. How did jury trials begin in England?
The 1 jury trial: Alice confessed to murder and snitched on 5 accomplices to avoid the death
penalty; they couldn’t use trial by combat because there were five men and 1 woman; accomplices
agreed to submit to judgement of 12 neighbours of the victim
Then the kinds judges started to use trial by “12 good men and true”
14. What was the Star Chamber used for?
England had established many fair and public courts by the 16th CE
Star Chamber could punish without trial on things that weren’t even crimes. 15. What legal principles developed from the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh? Why?
Courts existed to limit state power as well as enforce it.
Prosecutions could be unfair even if guilty – Raleigh convicted of treason on hearsay
Reaction to the trial was the new beliefs that courts now existed to limit state power, not just
express state power; prosecutions could be unfair even if the defendant was guilty
These resulted in the current procedure of discovery
16. What is meant by Discovery?
Defendant entitled to know all the evidence to be used against him ahead of the trial
Rules of admissibility of evidence: hearsay evidence banned from court—witnesses have to testify to
what they themselves have seen or heard
Presumption of innocence until proven guilty
17. Why were public executions stopped in Britain?
In the 18 C, attendance was huge. It became a spectacle event.
Had no deterrent power – Lots of theft in crowds watching executions.
18. What was the original intention of penitentiaries?
Penitentiaries were developed for the penitents (those who repented and could be saved)
19. Who was Hugo Munsterberg and why is he important to forensic psychology?
text on forensic psych and-how psych knowledge of memory could assist judges and juries
20. What are the Frye and Daubert standards for admissibility of expert testimony? Used in USA
For scientific evidence to be admitted as evidence it must be based on generally accepted
procedures in the particular field in which it belongs
Rules for acceptance of scientific evidence: research was peer reviewed; research was testable;
research was a recognised error rate and research adheres to professional standards
21. What are the Mohan criteria? Used in Canada
Evidence must be: relevant and necessary for the trial; you are providing information beyond what a
normal person would know; relevant to question before the court; necessary to assist trier of fact;
not violate other rules of exclusion; be presented by a qualified expert
22. In what essential ways, do legal and psychological paradigms clash?
innovation vs. conservative; empirical vs. authoritarian
experimental methodology vs. adversarial process
descriptive vs. prescriptive discourse; probabilistic and tentative conclusions vs. certainty academic and abstract orientation vs pragmatic and applied orientation
proactive orientation vs. reactive orientation
Study Guide - Evidence
1. What are the similarities of physical and memory evidence? What is the main difference?
Both leave physical trace of some kind, but memory is subject to being altered or fabricated
2. What appear to be the misconceptions in the criminal justice system's operative theory of
Theory of memory: acts as though stored information remains “fixed” regardless of what happens
after the event; stored information is impervious to suggestion; memory failures are failures to
retrieve info or are denial of repressed memory (in perpetrators)
3. What evidence issues led to the wrongful conviction of Ivan henry?
this case relied too heavily on eyewitness evidence
A biased police line-up in which Henry was held in a headlock by police.
4. How does DNA evidence help? Why is it limited?
DNA is not left behind in many crimes; requires physical contact between the perpetrator and victim
It can be helpful to overturn wrongful convictions based on non-DNA match
If found it can positively identify that someone was on the scene
5. What memory evidence problems occurred in the case of Thomas Brewster?
Sherry was shown a photo of Brewster but didn’t ID him, then put Brewster in a lineup but again
there was no ID; 4 yrs later shown the photo lineup and no ID; 11 yrs later new detectives brought
photos of Brewster and now Sherry ID’s him saying he looked familiar
The numerous previous photo exposures had left a trace of Brewster’s image making his image
familiar to her
The victim was biased over time by repeated exposure to his photo.
o Source Monitoring Failure
She eventually came to falsely identify him as the perpetrator.
6. What is the basic paradigm of Loftus's research on memory implantation?
has subject witness a complex event (usuallya crime); then subjects get misleading info about
the event and then theyare called to report details about the crime
general study design: Ss see complex event; ½ are given misleading info; ½ receive no info and all Ss
are asked to recall the event 7. What is the basic conclusion?
Biasing led people to recall non-existent information; people integrate info from 2 sources into a
single cognitive structure—then cannot distinguish those that were experienced from those that
weren’t experienced; 20% false memories remembered with high confidence.
8. How was the "lost in a mall" study designed to be convincing to ss?
It included where the family would have shopped, which family members usually went on shopping
trips, what kind of stores might have attracted Ss interests
9. What were its results? Do you think it was a good study- why or why not?
Ss remembered 68% of real cues and remembered 25% of fake cues
10. What percentage of ss are prone to create false memories? What are their psychological
characteristics? Are they confident the memories are real?
Ss most susceptible to memory implantation were high on dissociative experiences scale (measures
lapses in memory and perception in everyday life)
High on Dissociative Experience Scale: real memories, then, don’t contain more detail than planted
20% of planted memories were given the highest confidence rating
33% were willing to wager money that the false event occurred
11. What was the basic design of the Spanos study on implanted memory?
Ss told they were high positive cognitive monitors and tested for dissociation because they
were born in a hospital with colored mobiles which caused eye movement
hypnotic regression: – hypnosis going back through time in the Ss’ lives then they were asked,
the extent to which they believed these events they described when hypnotized
Guided mnemonic restructuring: asked to think about a time when theywere a certain age,
12. What did it find? Why was it plausible to ss? Which ss were most likely to develop a false
subjects took the memories as true when theywere hypnotized and not when theywent through
the mnemonic restructuring
13. What credible sources of interpretation of symptoms may generate false memories in
All you need for false memory is a credible source and an initial priming 14. What factors (both internal and external) led Paul Ingram to confess to sex crimes?
Being accused by daughters whom he trusts.
Believing god doesn’t allow false memory recovery.
Confirmation biasing – believing he hasn’t been affectionate with them lately.
Coercion by police.
It is thought he may have had DID: dissociative identity disorder: people autohypnotize under stress
He took the MMPI which described him as easily bored, restless, unpredictable, imaginative
MMCI said he had an exaggerated need to be liked, had a rigid compliance to social convention,
perfectionist (the kind of person prone to follow orders)
15. How did Ingram's police colleague explain his guilt to themselves?
they wondered how he could have done- must have had 2 personalities and repressed his memories
16. What changes did his daughters memories go through?
they were assaulted by a neighbour, their dad, their brother, a group of men, they were repeatedly
raped by their father and had to get abortions, satanic ritual- by both parents and police officers
17. What is the evidence for (against) satanic ritual abuse?
FBI found no evidence ever found for ritual abuse; No whistle blowers or report incidence that
would indicate large number of missing children
Most traumatized persons do remember the experience (and do not repress it)
18. What was the myth of SRA amongst social workers?
50% of social workers believed in a Satanic cult that would abuse people systematically.
19. What factors lead psychologists to believe clients’ accounts of SRA?
25% of therapists reported patients who reported satanic abuse—patients had multiple personality
disorder, poor un-integrated sense of own identity, or dissociative disorders and these were taken
as consequences of the abuse
believe that there isn’t a psychological predisposition to create imaginary stories
believed clients accounts based on number of bizarre/extreme things involved in the alleged abuse
They didn’t base their beliefs on corroborating evidence
20. What is dissociative amnesia?
Inability to recall important personal info, usually of traumatic or stressful nature, that is too
extensive to be explained by normal forgetfulness
Loss of memory from trauma. Amnesiacs are highly suggestible. 21. What are the diagnostic criteria for PTSD - do they support repression of memories of
victimization by SRA?
PTSD: the trauma-repression theory held that persons were traumatized by the abuse, repressed
the memories and these were re-stimulated either by: something that reminded them of the trauma
Recurring, distressing recollections of trauma. Trauma must be life-threatening for diagnosis.
They don’t support SRA— traumatized people don’t tend to have late onset of ptsd symptoms.
22. How did Ofshe discover Ingram's tendency to internalize and accept accusations?
made up a bogus accusation and told ingram his son accused him of it—next day Ingram reported
memory of the crime; made a written confession with details of the scene
23. What was suggested by the physical evidence in the Ingram case?
There were no scars or any evidence of physical trauma, no evidence of abortions
24. What is meant by the symptom trap?
cause of the symptoms are from a specific traumatic event and symptoms are then used as
proof (a circular argument); assume symptoms are from a specific event=proof for that event
25. What does memory research find about repressed memories?
Research: no support the idea of repression; most traumatized persons remember their experience
26. When do our earliest verifiable memories occur?
Earliest memories b/n 3-4 yrs- cannot exist before language acquisition and sense of self (18-24 mo)
27. What is meant by the term "childhood amnesia"?
Any trauma before age 2 is forgotten
28. What are the 3 types of false confession according to Kassin?
voluntary: police do not prompt anything and the perp confesses (they have some need for
punishment) even though they did not commit the crime
compliant: person is induced to confess through the interrogation
internalized: not onlyconfess but believe theycommitted the crime through highly suggestive
o person is highly dependent, want to please, they come to believe repressed having done the
crime, may believe they have a split personality 29. What was the basic design of his research paradigm to generate false confessions in the lab?
Ss in reaction time study—they had to type letters read by a confederate; Told if they hit alt button
all the data would be lost; a minute into the study the computer crashes and the experimenter
accuses the subject of hitting alt
Measures: compliance (will Ss sign statement saying they’re to blame); internalization (do they
express their blame); confabulation (do they make up details of evidence to support their guilt)
Compliance is highest in all situations (slow pace, fast pace, and false evidence, no false evidence)
30. Did it work? Under which conditions were the most false confessions produced?
When accuser’s story corroborated, 100% compliance, 66% internalized, 33% confabulated
31. According to Ekman, how accurate are professionals at detecting deception?
Secret service agents and federal officers score the best at detecting lies because they believe
people in general tell the truth and that liars are rare
Most inaccurate people used speech-cues alone; Confidence negatively correlated with accuracy.
Study Guide - Credibility Assessment
1. What are basic assumptions of polygraph testing?
The assumption that the act of lying generates physiological arousal that is detectable
2. How does the control question test (CQT) work? I.e. what is measured and what is expected?
baseline questions (factual, easilyestablished if the person is lying or not), relevant questions
(relevant to the crime), control questions (these are questions that might prompt someone to want
to lie; these are designed to put the defendant on the defensive)
3. What are the assumptions this test makes about guilt and arousal?
Guilty subjects=less arousal on the control than relevant questions because the relevant > threat
Innocent subjects should have more arousal in control than the relevant questions
4. How is the test scored?
reaction for Relevant questions > than control questions = negative score
0 = no difference, 1 = noticeable difference, 2 = strong difference, 3 = dramatic difference
Total Test Score: -6 or lower = deceptive; +6 or higher = truthful; -6 to +6 = inconclusive
5. What problems with the test were noted by Raskin?
There aren’t standardized rules; it is subjective and most assigned scores are 0 or 1
Hard to make control questions which produce high arousal in innocent and low arousal in guilty 6. What other problems exist with the test?
Test isn’t standardized; subjective ratings
Choice of control questions depends on examiner, examinee, action tested
criminals know how to beat it
7. How does the guilty knowledge test (GKT) work? I.e. What is measured and what is expected?
Idea is that the suspect might know a detail of crime that only the perpetrator could know
Guilty person assumed to display larger physiological response to correct answer
8. What problems exist with the guilty knowledge test?
Salient details of a crime usually made known to defence attorney
Suspect admits being present but denies alleged act or is guilty and has forgotten details used in GKT
Countermeasures—techniques to beat the polygraph
9. Are "countermeasures" effective at beating the test? How do we know?
Ss trained for 30 mins to use physical (bite tongue, press toes against floor), or mental (count back
from 7) countermeasures; 50% of people in each condition could beat a control question test
10. How accurate is the CQT? How do lab and field experiments agree or disagree on this
Lab studies: true positive 68-80%; false negatives 7-19%; false positive 8-15%; true negative 55-84%
11. What is the problem with using original examiners in test accuracy assessments?
Using original examiner CQT results improved results; fewer false negatives
12. How accurate in the GKT? How do we know?
94-95% true negatives; 1-6% false positives; 78-86% true positives; 14-22% false negatives