The Psychology and Law of Criminal Justice Processes: Cases and Materials

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More About This Textbook


Psychological science now reveals much about the law's response to crime. This is the first text to bridge both fields as it presents psychological research and theory relevant to each phase of criminal justice processes. The materials are divided into three parts that follow a comprehensive introduction. The introduction analyzes the major legal themes and values that guide criminal justice processes and points to the many psychological issues they raise. Part I examines how the legal system investigates and apprehends criminal suspects. Topics range from the identification, searching and seizing to the questioning of suspects. Part II focuses on how the legal system establishes guilt. To do so, it centers on the process of bargaining and pleading cases, assembling juries, providing expert witnesses, and considering defendants' mental states. Part III focuses on the disposition of cases. Namely, that part highlights the process of sentencing defendants, predicting criminal tendencies, treating and controlling offenders, and determining eligibility for such extreme punishments as the death penalty. The format seeks to give readers a feeling for the entire criminal justice process and for the role psychological science has and can play in it. Readers will be impressed by how much we know and, equally importantly, how much we still do not know about how our legal system responds to crime. Despite dramatic growth in research related to criminal justice processes, many points remain largely uninvestigated, which leads us to extrapolate from other areas of research to get a sense of what we know and what we should know. The analyses reveal that the limits of psychological science areoften paralleled by the limits of legal responses to crime. The materials provide readers with a firm understanding of key themes and trends and allow them to understand why our science may offer much but the legal system remains hesitant, and often unable, to benefit from it. By taking both psychological science and the law on its own terms, it is hoped that readers will be able to understand what type of research and legal response would be most useful, needed, and beneficial. The text seeks to make very complex research and laws as readable as possible. Chapters review psychological findings and provide Supreme Court cases that reveal the law=s general response to a particular point in criminal justices processes (such as searches and seizures). Given that the law tends to be very complex, each case is followed by statements that highlight key points about the case and by questions that help readers view the case from a psychological perspective. These comments, questions, reviews, and cases seek to assist readers in their efforts to form their own opinions about the law and psychology=s potential role in social responses to crime. The significance of the effort hardly can be underestimated. The manner the state takes a person's liberty or life and justifies its protections against error reveals the state's most consequential power. Criminal justice processes, then, pose an awesome challenge to everyone's civic responsibility to evaluate, understand, and improve our society's actions done in our name. At its core, this text seeks to help us recognize that challenge.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594543128
  • Publisher: Nova Science Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/17/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 723
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 2.00 (d)

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