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Several states have revised their civil commitment statutes in recent years. A majority of the recent revisions reflect judicial directives to provide more explicit commitment criteria, but in some instances, criteria have been broadened in reaction to the difficulty of getting some individuals...
A criminal-trial juror votes to convict or acquit a defendant in the knowledge that the vote may be in error: False convictions and false acquittals are unavoidable in human fact-finding systems. We show here that rigorous consistency relationships exist between the juror’s assessments of the...
Two factors thought to influence jurors’ penalty decisions in capital trials—the nature of the crime committed and the defense’s portrayal of the convicted offender’s character—were examined. Mock jurors were death-qualified and exposed to one of twelve simulated penalty trials. Each “trial” was...
Broeder (1965) found that potential jurors frequently distort their replies to questions posed during the voir dire. Considerable controversy has arisen over whether more honest, accurate information is elicited by a judge or by an attorney. The experiment manipulated two target (judge- versus...
This study investigated the use made by judges of background information provided in presentence reports in reaching their sentencing decisions. The presentence reports were furnished in a number of modified forms during an experimental manipulation in a real-life setting. By obtaining judges’...
Several forms of expert forensic science evaluations exist that rely at least in part on the subjective opinion of the examiner. Human hair identification is one such examination. This paper considers possible sources of influence or bias that may be responsible for examiner errors. Data are...
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