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Forensic Psychology

Exam 4

Use of scientific theory and methods to aid an attorney in trial Trial Consultation
History of trial consultation Late 1960s and early 1970s Political trials
Why Hire a Trial Consultant? Lawyers are reading professional work products about which they typically have little training Hired guns and biased experts are rampant
Training No license required 57% had psychology degree Other degrees include communications and law 33% had prior experience in non-forensic profession
Latin for “tell the truth”, 6th Amdmt-right of a criminal defendant to trial by impartial jury. 7th Amendment-extends the right to jury trial to civil suits. question jurors who might be biased &remove them through “challenges” Voir Dire
May be used for ingratiation and indoctrination Voir Dire
an attempt to “befriend” oneself or win personal favor with a jury. Ingratiation
subtly implant favorable case ideas in the mind of the jury. Indoctrination
Profile jury demographics Community attitude surveys Focus groups & mock trials Inform questions for voir dire and trial strategy “Friendly juror profile” Pretrial Services
Questionnaire Development Juror observations. Attorney observation re: persuasion Background checks on all prospective jurors, possible interviews. Lists of concerns regarding choosing each juror. Voir Dire Services
Focus groups Theory and presentation Opening/closing remarks Initial impressions Mock Trials/Shadow juries Jurors with similar demographics Impressions of attorneys gathered Video tape mock trials to observe juror reactions and group interactions Courtroom Strategies
Typically civil cases with huge financial stakes and extensive funds available. Psychologists may use traditional survey methods, or telephone/electronic polling. May select a sample of “mock jurors” at random or match demographics Conducting focus groups/mock trials/shadow juries
Level of authoritarianism Belief in the “just world hypothesis” Attributions of responsibility Case specific issues Conducting focus groups/mock trials/shadow juries
Not legally qualified (felony conviction, out of county, etc.) Could not impartially deliberate Has schizophrenia and is on antipsychotics (groggy) Challenge for Cause
based on pretrial research or general hypotheses Specific emphasis on key case issues (infidelity, negative experiences with police, etc.) Questionnaire Development
Honesty Attitudes towards attorneys or case issues Personality characteristics (dress, speech, etc.) Examine for consistent patterns/strongest traits Look for extremes, deviations, and appropriateness Juror observation
In general, people higher in ______ are more likely to convict and punish criminal defendants. Authoritarianism
Individuals who have a higher belief in this theory are less likely to feel sympathetic towards victims of crime or civil plaintiffs. Just world hypothesis
If they are high on internal responsibility, they may be less likely to accept extenuating or mitigating circumstances. Attributions of responsibility
For example, perceptions of racism, mental illness, infidelity, large corporations, etc. Case specific issues:
Qualitative and quantitative data gathered. Demographic information analyzed for association with decision making. Comments from jurors gathered about: Their decisions Perceptions of attorneys and case issues Questions they might have wanted to ask. Conducting focus groups/mock trials/shadow juries
Witness preparation Cannot instruct content Witness Impeachment Videos, computer animation, graphics, photos Courtroom Strategies
Familiarity with courtroom Objective assessment of persuasive ability (Expertness, Trustworthiness, Attractiveness) Training witnesses on techniques to improve. Goals of testimony Direct exam/cross exam: CANNOT INSTRUCT CONTENT Witness preparation
Preparation of cross-examination (Kansas Psychiatrist) Preparation of rehabilitation (Dr. X and the SIRS) The Hired Gun (Dr. X and ADD) Present during testimony (the machete killer) Witness Impeachment
DNA-Gold standard of independent evidence for labeling a confession as false Other evidence precluding the suspect’s involvement (solid alibi with a confession by another suspect, etc.). How are verdicts typically reversed due to false confessions?
1) High profile false confessions 2) Development of DNA evidence in the 1980s 3) Law Enforcement recognition of false confession How do we know false confessions exist?
14-25% of overturned cases had false confessions
-DNA testing to free over 200 persons who were wrongly convicted. 25% of them confessed, implicated themselves or pled guilty. The Innocence Project
Research with law enforcement indicates even they believe suspects give false confessions 1-10% of the time
Voluntary false confessions Coerced-compliant false confessions Coerced-internalized false confessions types of false confessions
Kassin and Wrightsman (1985) Gudjonsson’s Model-Custodial vs Non-Custodial component. Leo and Ofshe’s Model-uses terms compliant and persuaded DeClue’s Model-focuses on clinicians not making legal conclusions Theoretical models of false confessions:
Exact rate unknown and cannot be calculated- Some studies estimate false confessions occur in less than 1% of criminal cases (Sigurdsson & Gudjonsson, 1994, 1996) Research with law enforcement actually suggests a higher rate. How often do false confessions occur?
When are disputed confessions relevant ? Confessions typically excluded with: Physical coercion Prolonged isolation Physical deprivation (food, drink, or sleep) Outright threats of harm or punishment Promises of leniency
Pretrial evidence suppression hearing (challenging voluntariness or reliability). Jackson-Denno hearing in Oklahoma During a trial (so the jury can weigh the validity). Daubert hearing 2012-first time it is allowed in Oklahoma Two opportunities to challenge a disputed confession through mental health evidence:
Police use techniques to gain waiver (emphasize benefits over consequences). Establishing rapport Feigning sympathy Stressing it is just a “formality”. The majority of suspects agree to speak with police (Gudjonsson, 2003). What role does Miranda play in coerced confession cases?
80% of suspects waived Miranda. Suspects with no history of felony convictions were more likely to waive. If recidivism is an indicator of likely guilt-innocents may be far more likely to waive. Analysis of exoneration cases:
What factors facilitate false confessions? Psychological techniques have replaced physical force- The goal: overcome a suspect’s perception of consequences so that confessing is a better alternative than not confessing. Numerous training manuals outline psychological interrogation procedures.
Reid Technique Isolation Confrontation Minimization Maximization
Isolation Identifying contradictions Establishing rapport to gain trust Confronting Appealing to the suspect’s self-interest Minimization Fabricating evidence. interrogation practices
-the most damaging evidence because jurors operate on the fundamental attribution error. They are unaware of the factors which contribute to false confession. Confessions
Defendant statements should be corroborated when possible (self-serving)
Similar to evaluating a defendant for insanity What was going on in the person’s life around the time of the confession? Assess the degree to which the person was suffering from symptoms prior to, during, and following the interrogation. Evaluating interrogation and confession continued
Is the confession the product of an essentially free and unconstrained choice? Voluntariness-
Is the confession factual? Reliability-
Fear, Suggestibility, Education level/intelligence, Mental disorders affecting reality testing/memory, Experience with the criminal justice system, Age/immaturity, Mental status, History of substance abuse, Anxiety disorder, Language barriers, Medical con Suspect specific factors:
Created by: klmd3014