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Unfair : the new science of criminal injustice / Adam Benforado.

By: Benforado, Adam.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Crown Publishers, [2015]Edition: First edition.Description: xx, 379 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780770437763; 0770437761; 9780770437787; 0770437788.Subject(s): Criminal justice, Administration of -- Psychological aspects | Discrimination in criminal justice administration -- Psychological aspects | Criminal psychologyDDC classification: 364.3 Other classification: PSY008000 | LAW026000 | POL028000 | PSY008000 | LAW026000
Contents:
Investigation. The labels we live by : the victim ; Dangerous confessions : the detective ; The criminal mind : the suspect -- Adjudication. Breaking the rules : the lawyer ; In the eye of the beholder : the jury ; The corruption of memory : the eyewitness ; How to tell a lie : the expert ; Umpires of activists : the judge -- Punishment. An eye for an eye : the public ; Throwing away the key : the prisoner -- Reform. What we must overcome : the challenge ; What we can do : the future.
Summary: "A crusading legal scholar exposes the powerful psychological forces that undermine our criminal justice system--and affect us all Our nation is founded on the notion that the law is impartial, that legal cases are won or lost on the basis of evidence, careful reasoning and nuanced argument. But they may, in fact, turn on the temperature of the courtroom, the camera angle of a defendant's taped confession, or a simple word choice or gesture during a cross-examination. In Unfair, law professor Adam Benforado shines a light on this troubling new research, showing, for example, that people with certain facial features receive longer sentences and that judges are far more likely to grant parole first thing in the morning. In fact, over the last two decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have uncovered many cognitive forces that operate beyond our conscious awareness--and Benforado argues that until we address these hidden biases head-on, the social inequality we see now will only widen, as powerful players and institutions find ways to exploit the weaknesses in our legal system. Weaving together historical examples, scientific studies, and compelling court cases--from the border collie put on trial in Kentucky to the five teenagers who falsely confessed in the Central Park Jogger case--Benforado shows how our judicial processes fail to uphold our values and protect society's weakest members, convicting the innocent while letting dangerous criminals go free. With clarity and passion, he lays out the scope of the problem and proposes a wealth of reforms that could prevent injustice and help us achieve true fairness and equality before the law"-- Provided by publisher.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
HV7419 .B46 2015 (Browse shelf) Available 0000002310589

Includes bibliographical references (pages 294-367) and index.

"A crusading legal scholar exposes the powerful psychological forces that undermine our criminal justice system--and affect us all Our nation is founded on the notion that the law is impartial, that legal cases are won or lost on the basis of evidence, careful reasoning and nuanced argument. But they may, in fact, turn on the temperature of the courtroom, the camera angle of a defendant's taped confession, or a simple word choice or gesture during a cross-examination. In Unfair, law professor Adam Benforado shines a light on this troubling new research, showing, for example, that people with certain facial features receive longer sentences and that judges are far more likely to grant parole first thing in the morning. In fact, over the last two decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have uncovered many cognitive forces that operate beyond our conscious awareness--and Benforado argues that until we address these hidden biases head-on, the social inequality we see now will only widen, as powerful players and institutions find ways to exploit the weaknesses in our legal system. Weaving together historical examples, scientific studies, and compelling court cases--from the border collie put on trial in Kentucky to the five teenagers who falsely confessed in the Central Park Jogger case--Benforado shows how our judicial processes fail to uphold our values and protect society's weakest members, convicting the innocent while letting dangerous criminals go free. With clarity and passion, he lays out the scope of the problem and proposes a wealth of reforms that could prevent injustice and help us achieve true fairness and equality before the law"-- Provided by publisher.

Investigation. The labels we live by : the victim ; Dangerous confessions : the detective ; The criminal mind : the suspect -- Adjudication. Breaking the rules : the lawyer ; In the eye of the beholder : the jury ; The corruption of memory : the eyewitness ; How to tell a lie : the expert ; Umpires of activists : the judge -- Punishment. An eye for an eye : the public ; Throwing away the key : the prisoner -- Reform. What we must overcome : the challenge ; What we can do : the future.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

This book suggests that criminal justice in the United States is not a system at all but a set of dysfunctional units that deliver biased decisions that make society less safe. -Benforado (law, Drexel Univ.) deftly analyzes actual cases and recent studies in psychology and neuroscience to argue for broad-based reforms. The book is organized according to the traditional parts of the legal system, from police investigation to adjudication and punishment. Each chapter brims with insider information and current research on topics such as police interrogation techniques, false memory, jury conduct and consultants, and punishment and imprisonment from an international perspective. The author clearly illustrates how bias permeates the system and the way reforms, such as the Miranda rule and the elimination of New York's "stop and frisk" laws, are circumvented. Benforado advocates a host of new evidence-based reforms including greater use of technology in policing (e.g., video cameras, smartphones, gunshot tracking devices) to more futuristic changes (e.g., use of "virtual" trials). -VERDICT A stimulating critique of today's criminal justice system with applications to recent cases in -Ferguson, MO, and elsewhere, this authoritative and accessible book is suited to a general audience and students.-Antoinette Brinkman, formerly with Southwest Indiana Mental Health Ctr. Lib., Evansville © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Recent actions of police officers across the country and an ongoing stream of exonerations of those committed to prison or, worse, condemned to death, point to a broken system of justice. Benforado (law, Drexel Univ.) seeks a way out of the seemingly intractable problems of the US criminal justice system. His solution is in his book's title: it is science. The author's treatise covers each element of the criminal justice system--police, courts, corrections--and applies what science says is occurring at each stage, particularly the sciences of the mind: psychology and the neurosciences. What is revealed is in turn disturbing and confounding: race shapes decision making, and people lie and cheat (but not always as expected) for the greatest return. Benforado contends in his comprehensive conclusion that the country is not without hope. The hope resides in science and technology. His most controversial proposal is the "virtual trial," in which avatars replace participants. This could, according to Benforado, "reduce our dependence on fallible human faculties." Especially for those engaged in critical policy analysis. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. --Susan Elaine Blankenship, Lake Erie College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Adam Benforado is an associate professor of law at Drexel University. A graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School, he served as a federal appellate law clerk and an attorney at Jenner & Block. He has published numerous scholarly articles, and his op-eds and essays have appeared in a variety of publications including the Washington Post , the Philadelphia Inquirer , and Legal Times . He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and daughter.

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