Psych&Law-ch12 - Psych&Law- Ch 12 - Jury Trials:...

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Psych&Law- Ch 12 -- Jury Trials: Concerns and Reforms Concerns fit into 2 broad categories : 1. juries may not be competent to execute their duties properly 2. juries may be biased and prejudiced Concerns related to competence of jurors and juries : 1. they are overly attentive to extralegal information that is irrelevant to the guilt decision in criminal cases and to the liability judgment in civil cases a. extralegal info: info about a case that is not presented in a legal context 2. they will be mesmerized by the testimony of an expert or, conversely, that they will now understand the testimony and dismiss it outright 3. whether or not they will be able to understand and apply their instructions 4. they are poorly equipped to decide complicated issues that arise in “complex” cases What is the impact of extralegal information on jurors? 1. research suggests that, in criminal cases , jurors may be influenced by evidence of a defendant’s prior record, multiple charges, or character and propensity to commit crimes a. limiting instruction is issued by a judge to the effect that evidence of a defendant’s prior record can be used for limited purposed only: to gauge the defendant’s credibility, not prove their propensity to commit the offense b. joiner , joining multiple defendants or multiple charges in one trial, exists for
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This note was uploaded on 10/01/2011 for the course PSYCH 2650 at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Psych&Law-ch12 - Psych&Law- Ch 12 - Jury Trials:...

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