chapter 1 summary
chapter 1 summary PY 377
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This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lauren Gray on Monday March 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PY 377 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Karen L Salekin in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 63 views. For similar materials see Psych Law and Justice in Psychlogy at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 03/07/16
Lauren Gray 1 1238775 January 20 2016 Chapter One Summary 1 1The importance of Laws a b C Laws as Human Creations i Laws impact almost everything we do 1 School how long you go to school zoning laws determine where you go to school 2 Marriage the laws determine at what age you can get married and in some places who you get married to 3 Public actions there is a very long list of things that are against the law for this section ii Laws are always changing 1 For example before there were school shootings there was not a law that forbid weapons on school ground 2 Laws must always be changing because today s society is always changing 3 The growing technological market is also a reason the laws are always changing because with new technology people are learning new things and can easily invade other people s privacy Laws Help Resolve Con ict and Protect the Public i Laws are in place to resolve con icts when agreements and disputes arise ii Laws help to protect the rights of every citizen and to help the community feel safe and they help to ensure that no one is uncomfortable to leave their house iii Now since we have so many laws it stops a lot of violence from happening because in the old days the citizens would take care of it themselves and that usually resulted in violence So now the laws have made disagreements safer iv Laws also make the community safer and healthier by having laws that strangers should not touch other strangers and that if you cough or burp you should turn away from another person because coughing on them could make them sick The Changing of Laws i Human experience is what helps change laws As our experiences and opportunities change new laws are developed ii DNA has changed the way that law enforcement officers investigate crimes 1 Millions of Americans DNA samples have been collected 2 DNA will help solve more crimes and get innocent people out of jail iii The rise of the intemet and all of the social media sites have become very big and new laws are coming out because of this 1 Cyber stalking 2 Child pornography 3 Sexting off of cell phones iv Cell phones have also become very big and a very big distraction 1 More people are texting and driving V The development of the car also brought many new laws with it 1 Pedestrians vs drivers 2 Reporting accidents violates drivers 5th amendment against selfincrimination 3 EX Edward Rosenheimer was in an accident and someone was hurt Edward did not report the accident and left the scene and was later charged for violating the new law He said he did not report the accident because it was violating his 5th amendment right and a judge agreed with him and he was set free This decision was later overturned because the New York Court of Appeals said that constitutional privilege should give way to the rights of an injured person 2 The Psychological Study of Law 3 a b 01 Many disciplines study laws and the legal system and how each of them relate to the laws i For example anthropologists might do a study on how frequently women are raped in many different societies and cultures ii Sociologists would examine a specific society or culture and how they relate to laws and the legal system 1 The role that class plays in criminal activity and how frequently it occurs iii Psychologists look at the individual and how the individual thinks and the actions of the individual 1 Believes that the characteristics of different individuals affects how the system operates and that the law can affect different individuals very differently 2 Characteristics all the factors that in uence a person s behavior a Affect many case outcomes B fp 6 i An equation by the founder of psychology Kurt Lewin ii Behavior is a function of a person and their surrounding environment 1 Qualities and environmental pressures affect an individual s behavior Every person is an active participant in the legal system i We are all faced with choices that all effected by the law Forensic psychologists professionals who generate and communicate information to answer specific legal questions or to help resolve legal disputes i Most of these people are trained clinical psychologists and are specialized in the treatment and evaluation areas of helping others 1 Help people with mental disorders whose condition prevents them from going to trial Basic Choices in the Psychological Study of the Law a b Society decides what values it wants the laws to re ect on i Should laws be directed towards the rights of individuals or at society as a whole ii Every choice we make creates a dilemma and has psychological implications There are four choices i Choice one Rights of individuals vs the common good l Nonsmokers think smelling smoke will increase their chances of getting lung cancer and while the smoke bothers them they want to ban smoking from public places because it pollutes the air On the other hand smokers think that is not fair because why should they stop smoking in public places People that smoke have just as much of a right to be there as nonsmokers 2 Another example is just like the smoker situation but it is a ban on sagging pants because they are violating a decency ordinance 3 Values in con ict a The United States is the most individualistic society i People can do their own thing and because of this individuals possess individual rights and it is the function of the law to make sure the individuals rights are protected ii Freedom and personal autonomy are very big iii The other side of this is that society has an expectation to feel secure ivSociety believes that if these laws are in place it is deterring lawbreakers from breaking laws in the future V Are laws in place just to make society feel safe vi EX the case of the Westboro Baptist Church vii This con ict has been prominent in US Supreme Court decisions since the 1960 s viii The Miranda Rule that established our Miranda Rights came from one these decisions 4 Two models of the criminal justice system a Due process model 1960 s placed its values on the protection of all citizens including criminals from any abuse by law enforcement or the criminal justice system i Assumes the innocence of all suspects and that every suspect no matter what their background is treated equally 1 it is better that 10 guilty persons shall go free than that one innocent person should suffer 2 Emphasizes the rights of the individual ii When dominant laws are passed that society would see as violations to the rights of the individual b Crime control model 1990 s places emphasis on the apprehension and punishment of criminals i Emphasizes the effectiveness of the a criminals prosecution to make sure criminal activity is being reduced 1 incapacitation through incarceration William P Barr c The United States incarcerates more of its own citizens than any other country d The goal of society is to achieve a balance between the models ii The Second Choice Equality vs Discretion 1 Ex a man walks in his home to find his wife in bed with another man and then the husband chases the man out of his house A couple of hours later the man shoots his wife in the head during a heated argument and in court pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter The judge sentenced him to prison only because he needs to keep the system honest a Should the judge have used his discretion and let the man go free 2 Equality all people who commit the same crime should receive the same consequences 3 Discretion considering the circumstances of certain offenders and offenses to determine an appropriate consequence 4 The principle of equality a All men are created equal b 14th amendment i Equal protection law is often interpreted as everyone should be treated equally and no one should get special treatment because he or she has a lot of money or power c Profiling has become a very big example of unequal treatment i Profiling viewing certain characteristics as indicators of criminal behavior 1 EX race ii The courts have ruled that racial profiling is not to be used by law enforcement 5 Principle of proportionality a The punishment should be related to the magnitude of the crime i In uenced the way juveniles are sentenced because juveniles are more likely to be rehabilitated than their adult counterparts 1 Roper vs Simmons 2005 juveniles under the age of 18 cannot be sentenced to death 2 Miller vs Alabama 2012 juveniles under the age of 18 cannot be sentenced to life without parole ii three strike laws criminals that commit a 3rd felony are sentenced to 25 years to life in prison 1 Ewing vs California 2003 25 years to life is not disproportionate to the severity of a third felony 6 The value of discretion a Police officers show discretion when they decide not to arrest someone that has broken the law b Discretion is most obvious in the sentences that judges give i Sentencing disparity the tendency for judges to administer a variety of penalties for the same crime 1 African Americans are imprisoned at rates 5 to 7 times higher than whites are a Mainly because of disparities in drug related crimes 2 Police concentrate most of their focus on black neighborhoods and the drugs that blacks sell ii An explanation for this is racial bias 1 Racial bias police officers prosecutors jurors and judges use an individual s race as a basis for judgement on his or her behavior 2 There are many different forms of racial bias in the criminal justice system a A subtle form is individuals of the same race may be stereotyped or discriminated against depending on how typical of their group they appear i Physical features darker skin pigment iii To sentencing disparities and racial bias states have implemented determinate sentencing 1 Determinate sentencing the offense determines the sentence and judges and parole commissions have little discretion a The state have gone away from determinate sentencing now because judges felt that they should have more discretion in what happens in a case b This permits judges to think about factors of the person i Background ii Motivations iii Psychological disorders iii The third choice to discover the truth or to resolve con icts 1 Determining the truth means learning the facts of the dispute a Events b Intentions c Actions d Outcomes 2 The truth is hard to find because sometimes even the most wellmeaning person find it difficult to remember specific facts of a case a it is more important that the applicable rule of law be settled than it be settled right 3 The most important part of finding out the truth is the setting and making sure that all interested parties have their day on court a Truth is the predominant goal 4 Procedural justice when both sides believe they have had the chance fully voice their case and the witnesses have revealed all their facts people are more likely to feel like they have been treated fairly by the system The system is more likely to be considered as effective 5 Truth in con ict resolution in plea bargaining and settlement negotiations a Massive bureaucracy temptation to value pragmatic efficiency rather than just correct outcomes b Plea bargaining is often criticized because it gives priority to con ict resolution rather than truth seeking c Between 90 to 95 of all defendants never go to trial because of plea bargaining d Innocent people have been convicted because of plea bargaining e The state benefits because it saves them money f The defendant benefits because they get a lesser sentence g Similar to plea bargaining is settlement negotiation i Settlement negotiation a sometimes lengthy pretrial process of give and take offer and demand that ends when a plaintiff agrees to accept what a defendant is willing to offer to end their legal disagreement 1 Favors the goal of con ict resolution 6 New thoughts on con ict resolution a Con ict resolution does not operate in a zerosum fashion where one party loses and the other party wins b Con ict resolution tries to maximize the positive outcomes of the situations with the objective of keeping the dispute from escalating any further c Therapeutic jurisprudence has been applied in almost all areas of the law i Criminal law ii Family law iii Employment law iv Probate v Heath care viWorkers compensation vii Labor arbitration iv The fourth choice science vs the law as a source of decisions 1 When one discipline seeks to understand another a dilemma is likely to arise a Each discipline approaches knowledge in a different way 2 An amicus curiae brief is a written document presented by psychologists and other social scientists a Amicus curiae brief friend of the court provide the court with relevant information from psychological science and practice relevant to the issues in a particular case b The supreme court has incorporated input from the amicus curiae brief in many of their decisions c Other cases the social science was disregarded all together d Each profession uses unique concepts to describe the same phenomenon 3 Law relies on precedents psychology relies on scientific methods a Psychology believes that there is a world of experience that can be interpreted by the rules of science observations and experiments b The traditional view of psychology is challenged by being called naive and simplistic i Ignores the importance of personal political and historical biases c Precedents help establish new laws i Precedents rulings in previous cases ii Case law the law made by judges ruling in individual cases 1 Very in uential iii Stare decisis let the decision stand is very important 1 Brown vs board of education 1954 public school segregation was contrary to the law 2 Plessy vs ferguson 1896 d Law deals with absolutes psychology deals with probabilities i Legal questions require an eitheror response 1 Fit or unfit to be a parent ii Psychologists would rather think in absolutes iii Psychologists answer in qualified maybes 1 Lawyers have difficulty with this e Law supports contrasting views of reality psychology seeks one refined view of reality i Attorneys assemble all the facts ii Psychologists may do multiple studies that compare two theories 1 Psychologists are trained to be objective iii Lawyers are less interested in getting the actual truth 4 Psychologists Role in the Law a Two roles i The scientist conducts basic research about causes and development of behavior ii Applied psychologist tries to understand and help groups in addressing behavioral issues iii Five roles for psychologists in the legal system 1 Basic scientist 2 Applied scientist 3 Policy evaluator 4 Forensic evaluator 5 Consultant iv Makin the right ethical choice is complicated b The psychologist as a basic scientist of the law i Pursues knowledge for its own sake 1 Study theories for the satisfaction of understanding ii Ethics of the basic scientist 1 Must treat human subjects in an ethical manner 2 Cannot forge data c The psychologist as an applied scientist in the law i Dedicated to applying the knowledge to solve reallife problems ii Most of public awareness re ects this role 1 DrPhil iii Expert witness someone who possess specialized knowledge about a subject iv These types of psychologists can do this v The psychological topics that call for scientific expertise are limitless 1 The ethics of the applied scientist expert witness a Objectivity b Accuracy c Cannot accept payment d eitheror judgements 2 Admissibility of expert testimony a Each state and government has its own criteria b Two prong test i Daubert vs merell dow pharmaceuticals inc 1993 c Judges have disallowed expert testimony as irrelevant d The psychologist as a policy evaluator in the law i Provides data to answer questions such as I have instituted a policy how do I know whether it was effective 1 the ethics of the policy evaluator a similar to those of the expert witness b standard rules of scientific process apply the psychologist as a forensic evaluator in litigation i they are either court appointed or hired by one of the parties involved in the litigation ii prosecutor cannot request a forensic mental health assessment 1 ethics of the forensic evaluator a formal b specifically described the psychologist as a consultant in litigation i trial consulting ii no expectation of impartiality l the ethics of the consultant a consultant for one side in the selection of jurors