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Perceptual Dialectology: Accents and Jury Verdicts

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Contributing to the small but growing body of research on linguistic discrimination in legal settings, this thesis conducts a sociolinguistic investigation of the impact of an individual's accent on juror perceptions of defendant favorability and innocence. The study used an

Contributing to the small but growing body of research on linguistic discrimination in legal settings, this thesis conducts a sociolinguistic investigation of the impact of an individual's accent on juror perceptions of defendant favorability and innocence. The study used an online questionnaire in which sixty mock jurors were each asked to evaluate the audio testimony of a defendant representing one of three English ethnolects: African American, British South African, or Caucasian American. In addition to rating the defendant's persuasiveness, honesty, credibility, trustworthiness, and guilt, participants were also asked to determine an appropriate punishment (if any) for the defendant. Results indicate a preference of participants to issue an unsure or caveat opinion for the African American speaker but not to the British South African or Caucasian American speaker. The implications of these findings, as well as the correlations between each variable are discussed. The paper concludes with a recommendation for legal training and a revision of courtroom practices.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Building an Identity: Exploring the Relationship between Colonial and Georgian Architecture to Colonial Culture in Old Virginia in the Seventeenth Century to Eighteenth Century

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The aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between architecture and history in Virginia from 1607 to the eve of the American Revolution to create a complete historical narrative. The interdependency of history and architecture creates culturally important

The aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between architecture and history in Virginia from 1607 to the eve of the American Revolution to create a complete historical narrative. The interdependency of history and architecture creates culturally important pieces and projects the colonist's need to connect to the past as well as their innovations in their own cultural exploration. The thesis examines the living conditions of the colonists that formed Jamestown, and describes the architectural achievements and the historical events that were taking place at the time. After Jamestown, the paper moves on to the innovations of early Virginian architecture from Colonial architecture to Georgian architecture found in Williamsburg. Conclusively, the thesis presents a historical narrative on how architecture displays a collection of ideals from the Virginian colonists at the time. The external display of architecture parallels the events as well as the economic conditions of Virginia, creating a social dialogue between the gentry and the common class in the colony of Virginia.

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Date Created
2015-05

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CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR OMISSIONS: A RETRIBUTIVE APPROACH TO PUNISHING BAD SAMARITANS

Description

Bad Samaritans are bystanders who omit from preventing some foreseeable harm when doing so could have been accomplished with little risk. Although failing to intervene to prevent a harm often renders Bad Samaritans morally culpable, under current common law in

Bad Samaritans are bystanders who omit from preventing some foreseeable harm when doing so could have been accomplished with little risk. Although failing to intervene to prevent a harm often renders Bad Samaritans morally culpable, under current common law in the United States they could not be held criminally liable for any harm that resulted to the victims of that harm. In this paper I argue for the criminalization of individuals who fall under this label; I argue for the adoption of Bad Samaritan laws. To accomplish this, I first argue for the conclusion that omissions can causally contribute to harm. From here I am able to reach three further conclusions relative to Bad Samaritan legislation. These three conclusions are that Bad Samaritan laws are justified, that the punishment for the violation of a Bad Samaritan law should be proportional to the degree culpability for the harm caused, and that if "commission by omission" statutes are justified, then so too are Bad Samaritan laws.

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Date Created
2013-05

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Improving Protection Orders in Arizona: A Case Study of the Maricopa County Court System

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Protection orders are a common remedy for victims of domestic violence in Arizona, but problems of access and unnecessary complexity can prevent these orders from achieving their full potential impact. Through interviews with court officials and advocates, data collected from

Protection orders are a common remedy for victims of domestic violence in Arizona, but problems of access and unnecessary complexity can prevent these orders from achieving their full potential impact. Through interviews with court officials and advocates, data collected from survivors of domestic violence and observation of court proceedings, this study takes a comprehensive look at how to make protection orders as effective and accessible as possible. This analysis concludes with a series of recommendations to improve the protection order process and guidelines for the information to be included in a comprehensive resource to help plaintiffs through the process.

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Date Created
2013-05

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Unequally Educated: Arizona's Attempt to Undermine Educational Opportunities For Hispanics And Why It Matters

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The demographics of Arizona are changing as Hispanics children are passing through their youth and into adulthood. Yet, even with this changing population Arizona has demonstrated an unwillingness to provide adequate educational opportunities for Hispanic school children. The state has

The demographics of Arizona are changing as Hispanics children are passing through their youth and into adulthood. Yet, even with this changing population Arizona has demonstrated an unwillingness to provide adequate educational opportunities for Hispanic school children. The state has perpetuated fear throughout the Hispanic community in an attempt to marginalize and stigmatize the race. Such attempts have extended to youth in schools creating an environment of fear. This fear limits the academic potential of young Hispanics who are wary of government officials and institutions. Arizona has also failed to provide appropriate funding for programs used predominantly by Hispanic students leaving them unprepared for a workplace that desperately needs them. Finally, Arizona has refused to allow course content with a record of increasing academic achievement and graduation rates amongst Hispanics to be taught in schools. Taken as a whole Arizona's efforts are creating a cadre of unskilled and unprepared laborers who will be desperately needed to take jobs in the Arizona economy in the coming years. This blatant disregard for the educational needs of a large segment of the population will have a devastating impact on Arizona's future.

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2013-12