chapter 1 - Chapter 1 Psychology and the Law: Impossible...

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Chapter 1 – Psychology and the Law: Impossible Choices The Importance of Laws Laws as human creations Laws and the resolution of conflict o Conflict is inevitable, but society can control your behavior when your rights intrude upon another’s rights The changing of laws o Human experience dictates the development, interpretation, and modification of laws o Example: the right to the fifth amendment is given up to the competing principle of the right of injured persons to seek redress for their sufferings The Psychological Study of Laws Focus on the individual as the unit of analysis o Individuals affect the law, and the law affects individuals Characteristics: factors that influence an individual’s behavior Behavior of individuals is not only a result of character, but also of the setting in which they operate Behavior of participants in the legal system Forensic psychologists: generate and communicate information to answer specific legal questions or to help resolve legal disputes Basic Choices in the Psychological Study of Law Dilemmas o Rights of Individuals vs. the Common Good Values in Conflict People may deviate from the norm, but society has expectations too Two Models of the Criminal Justice System The Due Process model o Primary value on the protection of citizens from possible abuses by police and law enforcement o Emphasizes rights of individuals The Crime Control model o Seeks punishments of lawbreakers o Emphasizes rights of societies o RICO laws: combat organized crime, but used to prosecute Wall Street execs for stock fraud (not “racketeers”) o US follows more Crime Control than Due Process o California’s three-strikes law: criminals convicted of a third felony must be sentences of either 25
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years or triple the regular sentence, whichever is greater Vast majority of third felonies were nonviolent Goal: find a balance between the two Notification laws: require sex offenders to register with police and indicate where they live and notify neighbors, and report internet accounts and screen names o Equality vs. Discretion Equality: all people who commit the same crime should receive
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This note was uploaded on 10/22/2008 for the course PSYCH 2650 taught by Professor Dunning, d during the Fall '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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chapter 1 - Chapter 1 Psychology and the Law: Impossible...

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