This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Courtroom Psychology Essay

2328 words - 10 pages

Abstract
How human beings judge others has been the subject of many psychological studies over the years. In this paper, psychology in the legal arena is discussed including jury selection, juror life experiences and how it affects their biases, and the impact of the media on their decisions.
Jury Selection and Its Importance
Juries have the all too important task of making life altering decisions dealing with money, freedom, and many times life or death situations. Therefore, serving on a jury is a very serious and important proposition. Unfortunately, in today’s society it appears that many times juries are selected in a rather casual manner. Many individuals called to ...view middle of the document...

Whatever the means, the selection of a jury should never be taken lightly and jury duty should be mandatory, even for those who believe they are above serving.
The Purpose and Goal of Voir Dire
Voir dire is the process by which prospective jurors are questioned so their beliefs and attitudes can be examined to determine whether biases or prejudices exist. (Marder, 2005).
There are two (2) types of voir dire in practice: limited and Expansive. Limited voir dire usually entails a small number of questions non-specific to the trial. Jurors are questioned in a group and the questioning is usually done by the judge.
On the flip side, an expansive voir dire consists of a large number of questions with a much broader range. The judges along with the attorneys trying the case all question the jurors in an individual sequestered private setting. (Hans & Jehle, 2003).
The main purpose of the voir dire process is to determine whether any of the prospective jurors may have a potential bias when determining the outcome of the case. Therefore, the goal is to weed out those jurors who may have some pre-existing prejudice towards issues that may be involved in the case they will hear at trial.
All in all, expansive voir dire appears to be much more effective than limited for various reasons. First, jurors are more likely to divulge personal or embarrassing information within an individual setting rather than a group setting. Second, attorneys who are extremely familiar with the case may be able to obtain more relevant information from a potential juror, than a judge who was just assigned the trial. And, finally, the larger and broader range of questions in an expansive voir dire can reveal biases or concerns a prospective juror may not have even been aware of. (Hans & Jehle, 2003).
Although an expansive voir dire may be more time consuming and not cost effective, because of its effectiveness in weeding out inappropriate jurors, it should be made a mandatory practice if trials are to be completely fair and unbiased.
The Impact of a Juror’s Life Experience Upon Their Decision Making
There is no doubt that a juror’s life experience can have a tremendous influence on their decision making. Therefore, their real life attitudes will influence how jurors will view a case, including the facts, arguments, and ultimately the law they apply. (Heaney).
“Interpretive bias” is a psychological term that alludes to the fact that “…jurors view a case through the prism of their experiences and beliefs.” (Gabriel, p.730). This phenomenon appears to be more prevalent in high profile cases as jurors then have a chance to hear, read, and see information reported by the media regarding the case.
If a juror has had a negative experience with the police, that juror may be less willing to trust the testimony or actions of the police department in a criminal trial. Other such life experiences with...

Other Papers Like Courtroom Psychology

Causes for Criminal Behavior Essay

1585 words - 7 pages . H. (2007). Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Neuroimaging in the Courtroom. American Journal of Law & Medicine, 33, 239-269. Winslade, W. J. (2003). Traumatic Brain Injury and Criminal Responsibility. Medical Ethics, 10(3). DeLisi, M. (2013). Criminal psychology. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Newsday, F. (1985, Dec 27). Are criminals born or made? new research explores biology as the key

Eyewitness Testimony Essay

1712 words - 7 pages Eyewitness testimony is a legal term. It is the detailed account given by a witness in a courtroom, describing what they perceived happened during the specific incident under investigation. This is used as evidence to show what happened from a witness’s point of view. Eyewitness testimony is a crucial area of research in cognitive psychology and human memory; studies into eyewitness testimony have found that it can be affected by many factors

Power Point on Rape

1467 words - 6 pages lives due to interpersonal or community violence. ------------------------------------------------- Zoucha, R. (2006) ------------------------------------------------- Conoyer - Bronson, J. (2006) state: The term rape has different meanings for different segments of the population. For example, within the field of psychology, the terms rape and sexual assault are often used interchangeably and encompass a range of nonconsensual acts from

Crime and Violence

1573 words - 7 pages . Racism being a an issue that sticks with us from ancient times, in 1640, the first gun-control law was set in order to ban exclusively the slaves, being the African-Americans, from using them (Eddlem, 2014). This notion already says a lot about who society aims blame at when we consider crime. In today's society many studies have found that Whites and even Hispanics are treated with more fairness and ease in the courtroom than Blacks. Not only by

Americas First Serial Killers

2918 words - 12 pages FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY | H.H HOLMES | AMERICAS FIRST SERIAL KILLER | | Kevin Hutter | 10/20/2011 | H.H HOLMES, THE FIRST AMERICAN SERIAL KILLER, IN THE FOLLOW RESEARCH PAPER WE WILL BE LOOKING AT PSYCHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF HIS CRIMES TROUGH HIS EARLY CHILDHOOD TILL HIS EXECUTION IN THE LATE 1800’S | Herman Webster Mudgett, better known under the alias of Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, was one of the first documented American serial

Let’s Abandon or Strictly Regulate Eyewitnesses Testimony in Criminal Trials

3927 words - 16 pages ousting it from the courtroom. Another new challenge has come from controlling the media’s impact, both directly and indirectly on lawyers’ performances, witnesses’ reliability, and jurors’ objectivity. Too many innocent people have been convicted of a crime because of eyewitnesses’ mistakes and too many criminals have been freed because of faulty police investigating. There are laws passed recently that protect people making an accusation or

Crisis Negotiation

2960 words - 12 pages ; Johnson, P. W. (1995). "The application of psychotherapeutic and self psychology principles to hostage negotiations". Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 23, (2) 207-221.Fuselier, G. D. (1981b). "A practical overview of hostage negotiations: Conclusion". FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 50 (7), 10-15.Fuselier, G. D. (1986). "A practical overview of hostage negotiations". FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 55 (4), 1-4.Hannah, M. &amp

When the Lawyer Knows the Client Is Guilty

3044 words - 13 pages grave. Courvoisier had maintained his innocence until he saw Piolaine walk into the courtroom. He then confessed his guilt to Phillips, but insisted that Phillips continue to represent him. Soon word of this got out. There was an immense outcry against Phillips in the press. Not only laymen but many (though not all) lawyers condemned him for his aggressive defense and his reputation never recovered. Lest you think this is ancient history, the

Mrs. Mallard and Walter Mitty: Chopin and Thurber's Tales of Matrimonial Imprisonment

2793 words - 12 pages arm is in a sling. This way he could save face by not allowing anyone to know his wife sent him, and also because he is ashamed he really can't do this task on his own. Everyone treats Walter like he is no one and this is damaging to a person's psyche. So now Mr. Mitty drifts into a dream where he is an accused witness in a courtroom trial...symbolizing his current thoughts and feelings. It seems as though his daily existence within his

Serial Killers

4208 words - 17 pages profiling and other behavioral projects such as doing lectures, studies, psychology etc; he also helped establish VICAP and NCAVC. The FBI plays a crucial part in serial murder and perhaps without their assistance serial killers would be more rampant. BIOGRAPHIES: JEFFREY DAHMER - THE MILWAUKEE CANNIBAL Jeffrey Dahmer was born in Milwaukee in 1960. When he was a child he took an interest in chemistry and mutilating animals, a boy also reportedly

Freedom And Responsibility

2141 words - 9 pages Built within the Constitution of the United States are specifically defined freedoms that are guaranteed to all citizens. Conversely, with every constitutional freedom there comes a corresponding responsibility. On September 25, 1789, the state legislature’s twelve proposed amendments were transmitted by congress, the first two dealing with congressional representation and congressional pay. The following numbers three through twelve were

Related Essays

Careers In Psychology Essay

718 words - 3 pages psychology training and experience. Firm grounding in scientific theory and empirical research “understanding of scientific validity, research design, statistics, and testing” critical thinking skills thorough knowledge of social and cultural issues legal knowledge “including mental health law, case law, and courtroom procedures” excellent writing skills strong oral presentation skills and the ability to maintain one's composure under stress

G543 Mark Scheme Exam Tips Essay

2401 words - 10 pages are mainly psychology students, they may also be able to work out the researcher’s aim. 5. Lastly, provide a counter argument to demonstrate a really thorough understanding (however…) However, researchers need the convenience of an opportunity sample to be able to complete their research in a reasonable time and against a limited budget. 6. Conclude. So caution would be needed when applying the findings to an actual courtroom situation

Lie Detector Essay

1024 words - 5 pages reports ▶ Working closely with investigators ▶ Providing courtroom testimony ▶ Obtaining continuing education Education And Skill Requirements for Polygraph Examiners ▶ Individuals looking to work as polygraph examiners will often need to hold an associate's or bachelor's degree. Degrees in  criminal justice, criminology, psychology or forensic science will be most beneficial. ▶ Interpersonal communications

Importance Of Nonverbal Communications In Today’s Society

1475 words - 6 pages as intrusive and impolite.Personal Appearance Most believe that you cannot make a first impression twice. According to Bovee and Thill (2000), appearance identifies a social status, to which people will respond to accordingly. A judge in a courtroom commands respect from all who are present. However, the same person dressed up in jeans and a tee shirt shopping at Home Depot is just another cheap guy who cannot afford to pay someone else to do