Some Limitations of Experimental Psychologists' Criticism of the American Trial

33 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2015

Date Written: January 5, 2015

Abstract

Psychologists have for decades conducted experiments that have suggested severe limitations on human cognitive capacities. Many have suggested that these results have important, and largely negative, consequences for an assessment of the reliability of the American trial. They have pointed persuasively at the disturbing number of exonerations of those convicted after trial. And some have gone on to make specific proposals for the incremental, and sometimes radical, changes in the conduct of the adversary trial. This essay places these studies in a normative context and argues that they are more powerful in suggesting changes in pretrial process than in the conduct of trial itself.

Keywords: trial, psychology, evidence, social science

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Burns, Robert P., Some Limitations of Experimental Psychologists' Criticism of the American Trial (January 5, 2015). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 15-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2545879 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2545879

Robert P. Burns (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-6613 (Phone)
312-503-8977 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
111
Abstract Views
858
rank
246,415
PlumX Metrics