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2018-02-19 - A chat about confession evidence
2018-02-26 - Alibis

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Let's talk about the role of psychology in law

Will and Timothy are joined by guest Dr. Jason Chin, for a chat about the relationship between psychology and law. In this chat format, we gather regular authors and guests in Slack and have a moderated conversation, guided by prompts and questions selected in advance. Participants get to respond to each other's points, make comments, and ask each other questions in real-time. The transcript has been lightly edited. Will Crozier &#x1F419 Welcome to another Exercise in Exceptions chat! We’ve talked a lot about how psychology research can influence the law – but that research needs to make it into the courts to actually make the intended difference. However, it’s never as easy as explaining a study or two to a jury. In this chat, we’re going to discuss this collision a bit – how psychology science is used in the legal system. Timothy and I are joined by Dr. Jason Chin , a lecturer at the TC Beirne School of Law at University of Queensland, Australia. Wel

When investigations go wrong – in science and policework

A story of both a wrongful conviction and scientific fraud We’ve talked about many of the ways police investigations can go wrong, including mistaken eyewitness identifications , memory errors , and false confessions . Often, when people imagine police investigations running afoul, they imagine egregious cases in which police plant evidence or physically torture suspects to get them to produce confessions they know are false. Although situations like that do occur, mistakes in investigations require no intentional wrongdoing. A detective doesn’t need to be trying to get a false confession, for instance, in order to get one ( as our guest writer Fabi Alceste has written about) . Errors happen often without the investigators realizing anything has gone wrong. Similarly, when people imagine bad scientific research happening, they often imagine scientists fabricating data or committing outright fraud. Scientific fraud is a problem, but it’s quite rare. However, there are many questio

We find the defendant....

"We find the defendant...innocent!  [whisper]  I mean, not guilty!" If you’ve ever heard the jury foreman give a jury’s decision, you’ll notice that they never say the defendant is “innocent.” Instead, they’ll conclude that the defendant is “not guilty.” Although the terms may sound interchangeable, “not guilty” and “innocent” actually mean two different things. “Not guilty” is a legal conclusion, whereas “innocent” means the person didn’t commit the crime. For example, think of O.J. Simpson. In a court of law, he was found “not guilty” of killing his ex-wife – but if you ask the majority of Americans , they’ll tell you he’s not innocent. Here, we’re going to talk a bit about the distinction between the two conclusions – and why it matters to psychology and law researchers*. When we say that “not guilty” is a legal decision, we mean that it’s a decision based on criteria described by laws – namely in the U.S., if the prosecutor can convince the jury of the defendant’s