Matching Items (12)

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Does Precrime Mesh with the Ideals of U.S. Justice?

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Does Precrime mesh with the ideals of U.S. Justice? The fictional predictive police force of Philip K. Dick's "Minority Report" may be the gold standard for crime prevention in science

Does Precrime mesh with the ideals of U.S. Justice? The fictional predictive police force of Philip K. Dick's "Minority Report" may be the gold standard for crime prevention in science fiction, but could such system actually exist in harmony with U.S. standards of justice? By first exploring the philosophical foundations for punishment and blame in the United States, a characterization of the U.S.'s ideals for justice is established. Then, given the role that databases play in crime-fighting today, especially in establishing probable cause for lawful arrests, it is argued that databases with predictive power could in fact give rise to police force that resembles Precrime, with some complications. How the predictions are interpreted under the law in order to give them legal basis in establishing probable cause is explained, with several potential possibilities produced. These avenues for preemptive arrest approach the realm of Precrime, but lack Precrime's level of security. Other forms of preemptive detention that are currently in use are explored, mainly involuntary civil commitment, in order to find a potential form that a more extreme Precrime may take in the U.S. Finally, the limits of Precrime are explained, with some caveats and concluding comments on the potential for abuse and misuse of predictive policing.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Scientific Detail and Juror Decision-Making in Capital Scenarios

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By providing vignettes with manipulated scientific evidence, this research examined if including more or less scientific detail affected decision-making in regards to the death penalty. Participants were randomly assigned one

By providing vignettes with manipulated scientific evidence, this research examined if including more or less scientific detail affected decision-making in regards to the death penalty. Participants were randomly assigned one of the two manipulations (less science and more science) after reading a short scenario introducing the mock capital trial and their role as jury members. Survey respondents were told that a jury had previously found the defendant guilty and they would now deliberate the appropriate punishment. Before being exposed to the manipulation, respondents answered questions pertaining to their prior belief in the death penalty, as well as their level of support of procedural justice and science. These questions provided a baseline to compare to their sentencing decision. Participants were then asked what sentence they would impose \u2014 life in prison or death \u2014 and how the fMRI evidence presented by an expert witness for the defense affected their decision. Both quantitative and qualitative measures were used to identify how the level of scientific detail affected their decision. Our intended predictor variable (level of scientific detail) did not affect juror decision-making. In fact, the qualitative results revealed a variety of interpretations of the scientific evidence used both in favor of death and in favor of life. When looking at what did predict juror decision-making, gender, prior belief in the death penalty, and political ideology all were significant predictors. As in previous literature, the fMRI evidence in our study had mixed results with regards to implementation of the death penalty. This held true in both of our manipulations, showing that despite the level of detail in evidence intended for mitigation, jurors with preconceived notions may still disregard the evidence, and some jurors may even view it is aggravating and thus increase the likelihood of a death sentence for a defendant with such brain abnormalities.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Prosecutorial Discretion & Punishment Motives in Ambiguous Juvenile Sex Offense Cases

Description

This study hypothesizes that a sampling of prosecutors would be more likely to prosecute juveniles who identify as homosexual versus those who identify as heterosexual. To test this hypothesis, surveys

This study hypothesizes that a sampling of prosecutors would be more likely to prosecute juveniles who identify as homosexual versus those who identify as heterosexual. To test this hypothesis, surveys were mailed to 1,000 prosecutors around the United States with a between subject design, meaning that each participant was only exposed to one condition in the vignette they read. There were a total of four vignettes, creating four conditions of different sexual orientations and gender in sexually appropriate relationships. The vignettes contain conditions in which either a male or female junior in high school was videotaped having oral sex with either a male or a female freshman in high school. Prosecutors were asked questions about whether they would prosecute the older student for statutory rape. Results indicated that our manipulations of sexual orientation and gender were not statistically significant on prosecutorial discretion or punishment severity/motives, however, these manipulations did alter the prosecutor's perceptions of the offender.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Looking into the FIRE: The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Description

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is an organization dedicated to defending student and faculty freedom of speech rights on college campuses in the United States. Their work

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is an organization dedicated to defending student and faculty freedom of speech rights on college campuses in the United States. Their work has brought national attention and debate around how unbiased the foundation truly is. This thesis discusses the relevant cases around the freedom of speech such as United States v. O'Brien and Matal v. Tam in order to develop an understanding of general free speech protection. Free speech cases specifically regarding school campuses were analyzed such as Tinker v. Des Moines, Bethel v. Fraser, and Rosenberger v. University of Virginia to show the limitations of what FIRE can fight on campuses. FIRE's case selection methods were analyzed, and a bias toward conservative cases was found. This bias is disputed by FIRE supporters as natural given the liberal nature of higher education, but data surrounding professors, disinvitation attempts, and student opinions invalidate these claims. Three FIRE cases (Roberts v. Haragan, Smith v. Tarrant County College District, and the Dixie State Incident) were analyzed to show the progression and style of the foundation through the years and how they developed their aggressive and bully reputation. Finally, current large incidents of free speech oppression were analyzed to understand how they skew and affect public perception of the overall struggle for freedom of speech on college campuses. This thesis found that FIRE is in fact biased and that their efforts to make positive change are undermined by this. Keywords: FIRE, free speech, First Amendment

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Date Created
  • 2018-12

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Suggestive Questioning of Children Alleging Sexual Abuse in Criminal Trials

Description

This research study looked at frequency and proportion of suggestive questions (negative term, statement, and tag), the age of the child, and the attorney conducting the examination (prosecution versus defense).

This research study looked at frequency and proportion of suggestive questions (negative term, statement, and tag), the age of the child, and the attorney conducting the examination (prosecution versus defense). The population of this study was obtained from Maricopa County Attorney's Office court transcripts from 2005-2015 and the sample included 64 minors between the ages of 5-12 years old. The present study showed that regarding frequency, there was no significant difference between the number of suggestive questions asked by the prosecution and defense, however, when looked at the proportion of these questions, prosecution asked significantly fewer suggestive questions compared to the defense. Older children (9-12 year olds) receive more, both in terms of frequency and proportion, suggestive questions than younger children (5-8 year olds). Lastly, children typically gave elaborate responses to suggestive questions from the defense more than from the prosecution. This study shows that attorneys are using problematic methods when questioning children between the ages of 5-12 years old and these suggestive methods may affect the child's ability to provide credible testimony.

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Date Created
  • 2018-12

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A Clash of United States-United Kingdom Criminal Justice Systems: A Way Forward to Better Justice

Description

The United States (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have a long and complicated history, but through this they have learned an abundance of things from each other. In this

The United States (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have a long and complicated history, but through this they have learned an abundance of things from each other. In this paper, I will argue that the two countries still have much to learn from each other to this day about how to enforce the law and manage crime. An important structure that the United Kingdom helped influence the United States in was the development of their criminal justice system. Although the two country’s values differ, there are great similarities in the ways the two countries deal with crime but numerous differences as well. Looking deeper into the differences between the two systems can help future research identify new and innovative ways to combat crime and actively reduce crime rates. This paper will compare violent crime rates in the USA and UK for four years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Doing so will provide evidence regarding the degree to which the police in each country have been able to effectively enforce the law. After evaluating these differences, I will conclude with a discussion of the key items that I believe each country should take from the other to create a path forward to better justice. Our societies are constantly evolving, creating a necessity to progress our laws and aspects of the criminal justice system, and examining internal workings will only tell so much. There is never a reason to stop learning from each other, which is why this type of research is important.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Police and Persons with Mental Illness

Description

Mental illness creates a unique challenge for police. Changes in medical infrastructure have left many mentally ill without adequate access to resources or treatment. They often face additional challenges of

Mental illness creates a unique challenge for police. Changes in medical infrastructure have left many mentally ill without adequate access to resources or treatment. They often face additional challenges of substance abuse and homelessness. This has led to increasingly frequent contact with police and a shift from mental illness being treated as a health problem to being treated as a police problem. Police are unable to provide treatment, and are frustrated by the amount of their time consumed by persons with mental illness (PMI) and by the amount of time and effort it takes to connect them with treatment. Due to the unpredictable behavior often caused by mental illness and the way police are trained to deal with uncooperative behavior, persons suffering from mental illness are subject to the use of force by police at a disproportionate rate. Police are trying to combat these problems with the implementation of advanced training and the development of Crisis Intervention Teams and Mobile Response Units, as well as increasing connections with local medical facilities to promote treatment over arrest. Other strategies have been experimented with, both in the United States and across the globe, but there is currently a limited amount of research on how effective these programs are. Anecdotally, the most successful programs seem to be those that take a comprehensive approach to mental illness, creating solutions that include police, medical facilities, courts, dispatchers, first responders, and the community. Due to the limits of programs confined to one institution, it is recommended that treatment be expanded and police receive advanced training in dealing with mentally ill people, as well as involving others in the criminal justice and medical communities so that they provide a coordinated response to PMI.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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When Music Takes the Stand: An Examination of Rap's Influence in Court Cases

Description

Hip-hop’s popularity has been steadily increasing since the late 1980s, with it becoming the most streamed genre of music in 2017. This rise in popularity is matched by an increase

Hip-hop’s popularity has been steadily increasing since the late 1980s, with it becoming the most streamed genre of music in 2017. This rise in popularity is matched by an increase in the number of criminal court cases which implement one of hip-hop’s primary features, rap, as evidence. In order to build upon prior research regarding rap music’s implications in legal proceedings and begin to understand what impact this phenomenon might have, this study examines the function of rap music within a sample of court cases. The research was conducted using a qualitative content analysis. The sample consists of 184 criminal cases from a five-year-period selected from the LexisNexis®Academic database. From these cases, 7 principal patterns were established: (1) gang affiliation, (2) descriptions of criminal acts, (3) impermissible character evidence, (4) criminal intent, (5) threats, (6) artistic expression, and (7) inciting incidents. Each of these patterns was examined and analyzed with respect to the function of rap evidence within each case. Among these patterns, the most common was rap evidence bearing gang affiliation, and the least common was rap’s direct use in incidents which resulted in a criminal charge. Most cases, with its use as a threat being the major exception, appeared to implement rap as a supplementary piece of evidence. The analysis demonstrated that the increased usage of rap evidence in the criminal proceedings attests to the significant impact that the hip-hop genre can have a have on individual cases. This impact is defined by the function of rap evidence, and in this sense the contextual and historical significance of rap music becomes a factor in how it is utilized as a tool in the legal system.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Suggestibility, Plausibility, and Consistency: Questioning Child Witnesses Alleging Sexual Abuse in Criminal Trials

Description

This study examined the type and frequency of questions asked by attorneys in cases of children alleging sexual abuse. Of interest was whether child age would affect the questions asked.

This study examined the type and frequency of questions asked by attorneys in cases of children alleging sexual abuse. Of interest was whether child age would affect the questions asked. The participants included 25 child witnesses testifying in criminal trials in Maricopa County over a recent ten-year period. Children were placed into two groups: younger (five to seven-year-olds) and older (eight to nine-year-olds). Every question asked, and answer provided, during children's testimony, was systematically and reliably coded for the content of the interaction. Attorneys exhibited developmental sensitivity, varying the amount of question they asked across content areas by the age of the child. In addition, attorneys varied in what they asked about: the prosecution focused more on the plausibility of abuse, whereas the defense focused more on how others may have suggestively influenced the child's report. Both attorneys were equally concerned about the consistency of narratives. The findings from the present study have direct policy implications for how attorneys structure their arguments, both in an attempt to establish, and question, children's credibility in these important cases. Keywords: children, age, suggestibility, consistency, inconsistency, plausibility

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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The Future of Mental Health Treatment in the Criminal Justice System: A Restorative Approach

Description

It is a tragic reality that many individuals in the criminal justice system suffer from a mental illness. As a result, both mental health programs and mental health courts have

It is a tragic reality that many individuals in the criminal justice system suffer from a mental illness. As a result, both mental health programs and mental health courts have been developed in response to the increasing number of individuals in the criminal justice system that are suffering from a mental illness. The first objective of this review is to discuss the background on mental illness as it relates to the criminal justice population, and to understand the common causes of incarceration amongst the mentally ill, including the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1960s, the unavailability of intermediate and long-term hospitalization in state hospitals, more formal and rigid criteria for civil commitment, a lack of adequate support systems and access to mental health treatment in the community, and the high recidivism rates by these types of offenders. Considering these causes, another objective of this review is to compare and contrast the United States' first mental health courts, including those in Broward County, Florida, King County, Washington, San Bernardino, California, and Anchorage, Alaska, by ultimately focusing on the origins of each court, the stages of intervention, methods of entry, competency evaluations, treatment approaches, and disposition of charges. From there, this review considers the differences between the courts and proceeds with a synthesis of the common and recurring themes between them, and then ends with recommendations specific to the mental health court system on practices that can be implemented or altered in order to encourage a more effective form of justice for the mentally ill, and a discussion of the policy solutions that have already been proposed to address the problem.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05