Author: Scott E. Sundby
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2015-03-17
With a life in the balance, a jury convicts a man of murder and now has to decide whether he should be put to death. Twelve people now face a momentous choice. Bringing drama to life, A Life and Death Decision gives unique insight into how a jury deliberates. We feel the passions, anger, and despair as the jurors grapple with legal, moral, and personal dilemmas. The jurors' voices are compelling. From the idealist to the "holdout," the individual stories—of how and why they voted for life or death—drive the narrative. The reader is right there siding with one or another juror in this riveting read. From movies to novels to television, juries fascinate. Focusing on a single case, Sundby sheds light on broader issues, including the roles of race, class, and gender in the justice system. With death penalty cases consistently in the news, this is an important window on how real jurors deliberate about a pressing national issue.
Author: Robin Conley
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2015-11-02
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Confronting the Death Penalty: How Language Influences Jurors in Capital Cases probes how jurors make the ultimate decision about whether another human being should live or die. Drawing on ethnographic and qualitative linguistic methods, this book explores the means through which language helps to make death penalty decisions possible - how specific linguistic choices mediate and restrict jurors', attorneys', and judges' actions and experiences while serving and reflecting on capital trials. The analysis draws on fifteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in diverse counties across Texas, including participant observation in four capital trials and post-verdict interviews with the jurors who decided those cases. Given the impossibility of access to actual capital jury deliberations, this integration of methods aims to provide the clearest possible window into jurors' decision-making. Using methods from linguistic anthropology, conversation analysis, and multi-modal discourse analysis, Conley analyzes interviews, trial talk, and written legal language to reveal a variety of communicative practices through which jurors dehumanize defendants and thus judge them to be deserving of death. By focusing on how language can both facilitate and stymie empathic encounters, the book addresses a conflict inherent to death penalty trials: jurors literally face defendants during trial and then must distort, diminish, or negate these face-to-face interactions in order to sentence those same defendants to death. The book reveals that jurors cite legal ideologies of rational, dispassionate decision-making - conveyed in the form of authoritative legal language - when negotiating these moral conflicts. By investigating the interface between experiential and linguistic aspects of legal decision-making, the book breaks new ground in studies of law and language, language and psychology, and the death penalty.
Author: Neil Vidmar
Release Date: 2007
Although the right to trial by jury is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, in recent years both criminal and civil juries have been criticized as incompetent, biased, and irresponsible. For example, the O.J. Simpson criminal jury’s verdict produced a racial divide in opinions about that trial. And many Americans still hold strong views about the jury that awarded millions of dollars to a woman who spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee on herself. It’s said that there are "judicial hellholes" where local juries provide "jackpot justice" in medical malpractice and product liability cases with corporate defendants. Are these claims valid? This monumental and comprehensive volume reviews over fifty years of empirical research on civil and criminal juries and returns a verdict that strongly supports the jury system. Rather than relying on anecdotes, Vidmar and Hans—renowned scholars of the jury system—place the jury system in its historical and contemporary context, giving the stories behind important trials while providing fact-based answers to critical questions. How do juries make decisions and how do their verdicts compare to those of trial judges and technical experts? What roles do jury consultants play in influencing trial outcomes? Can juries understand complex expert testimony? Under which circumstances do capital juries decide to sentence a defendant to die? Are juries biased against doctors and big business? Should juries be allowed to give punitive damages? How do juries respond to the insanity defense? Do jurors ignore the law? Finally, the authors consider various suggestions for improving the way that juries are asked to carry out their duties. After briefly comparing the American jury to its counterparts in other nations, they conclude that our jury system, despite occasional problems, is, on balance, fair and democratic, and should remain an indispensable component of the judicial process for the foreseeable future.
Author: Roger Hood
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2015-01-08
Genre: Political Science
The fifth edition of this highly praised study charts and explains the progress that continues to be made towards the goal of worldwide abolition of the death penalty. The majority of nations have now abolished the death penalty and the number of executions has dropped in almost all countries where abolition has not yet taken place. Emphasising the impact of international human rights principles and evidence of abuse, the authors examine how this has fuelled challenges to the death penalty and they analyse and appraise the likely obstacles, political and cultural, to further abolition. They discuss the cruel realities of the death penalty and the failure of international standards always to ensure fair trials and to avoid arbitrariness, discrimination and conviction of the innocent: all violations of the right to life. They provide further evidence of the lack of a general deterrent effect; shed new light on the influence and limits of public opinion; and argue that substituting for the death penalty life imprisonment without parole raises many similar human rights concerns. This edition provides a strong intellectual and evidential basis for regarding capital punishment as undeniably cruel, inhuman and degrading. Widely relied upon and fully updated to reflect the current state of affairs worldwide, this is an invaluable resource for all those who study the death penalty and work towards its removal as an international goal.
Author: Robert M. Bohm
Publisher: CRC Press
Release Date: 2008-04-11
More than 30 years after the US Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty, it is still plagued with egregious problems. Issues of wrongful conviction, inhumane practices, and its efficacy as a deterrent are hotly debated topics. As of August 2007, two-thirds of the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty. Today, the US falls alongside Iran, Iraq, Sudan, China, and Pakistan as countries that continue to believe the death penalty is a necessary and productive practice. Compiling articles and essays from leading experts, The Death Penalty Today presents an in-depth examination of the current points of debate. The first of two sections focuses on miscarriages of justice, including errors in conviction and possible remedies. It reviews 13 death penalty study commissions that reveal potential causes of wrongful conviction and discusses relevant factors such as geography, timeframe, and race. The first section also considers the responsibility of the state for reintegration of the wrongfully convicted after exoneration, as well as flaws with the ability of lethal injections to produce a “humane” and “painless” death. The second section addresses death penalty opinion with a survey of scholarly experts as well as a survey of mid-level police managers. It considers the criminalization of reporting, televising, and photographing executions and the implications to the first amendment and government accountability. It reveals the phenomenon of consensual executions as assisted suicide and the curious dichotomy in logic between the reviled practice of lynching and its close cousin—the government sanctioned execution. With lucid arguments supported by verifiable statistics and expert opinion, The Death Penalty Today provides a sober look at the death penalty in the US and begs the question of when, not if, the US will join the majority of the civilized world in its abolition.
Author: Karen Houppert
Publisher: New Press, The
Release Date: 2013-03-18
On March 18, 1963, in one of its most significant legal decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Gideon v. Wainwright that all defendants facing significant jail time have the constitutional right to a free attorney if they cannot afford their own. Fifty years later, 80 percent of criminal defendants are served by public defenders. In a book that combines the sweep of history with the intimate details of individual lives and legal cases, veteran reporter Karen Houppert movingly chronicles the stories of people in all parts of the country who have relied on Gideon’s promise. There is the harrowing saga of a young man who is charged with involuntary vehicular homicide in Washington State, where overextended public defenders juggle impossible caseloads, forcing his defender to go to court to protect her own right to provide an adequate defense. In Florida, Houppert describes a public defender’s office, loaded with upward of seven hundred cases per attorney, and discovers the degree to which Clarence Earl Gideon’s promise is still unrealized. In New Orleans, she follows the case of a man imprisoned for twenty-seven years for a crime he didn’t commit, finding a public defense system already near collapse before Katrina and chronicling the harrowing months after the storm, during which overworked volunteers and students struggled to get the system working again. In Georgia, Houppert finds a mentally disabled man who is to be executed for murder, despite the best efforts of a dedicated but severely overworked and underfunded capital defender. Half a century after Anthony Lewis’s award-winning Gideon’s Trumpet brought us the story of the court case that changed the American justice system, Chasing Gideon is a crucial book that provides essential reckoning of our attempts to implement this fundamental constitutional right.
Author: Brian Bornstein
Publisher: OUP USA
Release Date: 2009-10-29
While the concept of "God in the courtroom" evokes a few grand images, there are numerous, often subtle, ways in which religion and law intersect. For example, religious beliefs might influence the decisions of legal decision makers, such as judges and jurors. Attorneys might rely on religion, both in the way they approach their professional practice generally and in specific trial tactics (e.g., using a scriptural rationale in arguing for a particular trial outcome). This book reviews legal developments and behavioral science research concerning the effects of religion on legal practice, decision-making processes of various legal actors, and trial outcomes. Chapters address jury selection and bias, attorneys' use of religion in legal movements, judges' religious beliefs and its role in their appointment, and the treatment of religious figures or institutions as litigants in court. By drawing from various research sources, the authors effectively explore the range of ways in which religion affects the actions of all of the major participants at trial: jurors, judges, attorneys, and litigants.
Religion is increasingly a social and political factor in post-modern societies nowadays and the question of the role of religion in the public sphere is more and more brought to the fore: a challenge to legal philosophers. Should religion be only a private affair, or should the public dimension of religion be more acknowledged? Do we have to interpret the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state in a strict (laicist) sense, or do we have to allow for a more benevolent relation between religion and the state? This collection of essays explores these questions in various and new ways.
Author: Robert Scott
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Release Date: 2005-01-01
Genre: True Crime
The true story of a serial killer’s four-year rampage in the deserts of New Mexico from the New York Times–bestselling author of Shattered Innocence. For four years a murderous fiend spread terror throughout the deserts of Shiprock, New Mexico. The nightmare began on Thanksgiving 1996, when two young men were stabbed and slashed to death in an alleged attempt to cover up a robbery. Next, a woman was subjected to a grotesque sexual assault—but somehow managed to escape with her life. Donald Tsosie wasn’t so lucky. After leaving a local watering hole, he was savagely bludgeoned, stabbed, and left to die. On June 9, 2000, Betty Lee was stabbed and then slain with a sledgehammer after being stripped of her clothing. Justice finally arrived in the form of county detectives Bob Melton and Tyler Truby, whose investigation zeroed in on hulking, hate-ridden Robert “Bobby” Fry, a misfit with a taste for brutality. Aided by Navajo trackers, authorities conducted a sleepless two-and-a-half-day manhunt to bag the killer before the trail went cold. Then, like the Hero Twins of local legend, they brought a monster’s murderous rampage to an end. Includes 16 pages of shocking photos! “Intriguing.” —Tony Hillerman
Author: Barry Latzer
Release Date: 2010-10-27
Death Penalty Cases presents significant verbatim excerpts of death-penalty decisions from the United States Supreme Court. The first chapter introduces the topics discussed throughout the book. It also includes a detailed history of the death penalty in the United States. After this introduction, the remaining eighteen chapters are divided into five parts: Foundational Cases, Death-Eligible Crimes and Persons, The Death Penalty Trial, Post-Conviction Review, and Execution Issues. The first part, consisting of five chapters, talks about the mandatory death penalty, mitigating evidence and racial bias. The next part covers death-eligible crimes, such as rape and other crimes that do not involve homicide and murder. The middle part presents the trial process, from choosing the appropriate decision-makers through the sentencing decision. Followed by this is a chapter focusing on the aftermath of conviction, such as claims of innocence. The book concludes by exploring issues related to execution, such as not executing insane convicts. Finally, execution methods are presented. Provides the most recent case material--no need to supplement Topical organization of cases provides a more logical organization for structuring a course Co-authors with different perspectives on the death penalty assures complete impartiality of the material Provides the necessary historical background, a clear explanation of the current capital case process, and an impartial description of the controversies surrounding the death penalty Provides the latest statistics relevant to discussions on the death penalty Clearly explains the different ways in which the states process death penalty cases, with excerpts of the most relevant statutes
The author team for WRIGHTSMAN’S PSYCHOLOGY AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM, Seventh Edition combines complementary expertise, active research, writing careers, and real world experience (as consultants working within the legal system) to produce a comprehensive text that is unparalleled in scholarship and writing style. The authorship, research base and comprehensive coverage make this text popular with instructors and students. This text demonstrates the importance of psychology to understanding the legal system and the impact on individuals’ everyday lives through the use of real cases and questions formed to create discussions of these cases. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
This volume brings together leading investigators to explore the science of first impressions: how they are formed, their underlying processes, and effects on emotions, cognitions, and behavior. Integrating cutting-edge theories, methods, and findings from diverse research traditions, the book accessibly conveys the "big picture" of this dynamic area of study. Showcasing the best current work on a fundamental aspect of person perception and social cognition, this book will be read with interest by researchers and students in social and personality psychology, as well as scholars in applied domains. It will fill a unique niche as a text in graduate-level courses.
Author: Joseph B. Kadane
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2008-05-23
Statistics in the Law is primarily a user's manual or desk reference for the expert witness-lawyer team and, secondarily, a textbook or supplemental textbook for upper level undergraduate statistics students. It starts with two articles by masters of the trade, Paul Meier and Franklin Fisher. It then explains the distinction between the Frye and Daughbert standards for expert testimony, and how these standards play out in court. The bulk of the book addresses individual cases covering a wide variety of questions, including: ?Does electronic draw poker require skill to play? ?Did the New Jersey State Police disproportionately stop black motorists? ?Is a jury a representative cross section of the community? ?Were ballots tampered with in an election? The book concludes with Part 5, a review of English law, that includes a case in which a woman was accused of murdering her infant sons because both died of "cot death" or "sudden death syndrome," (she was convicted, but later exonerated), and an examination of how Bayesian analyses can (or more precisely), cannot be presented in UK courts. In each study, the statistical analysis is shaped to address the relevant legal questions, and draws on whatever methods in statistics might shed light on those questions.