CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, May 11, 2020

Benforado on Whether Science Can Save Justice

Adam Benforado (Drexel University Kline School of Law) has posted Can Science Save Justice? (Judicature, vol. 101, no. 2) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Psychologists and neuroscientists say cognitive forces beyond our control are negatively affecting the criminal justice system and thwarting the promise of justice for all. Incremental efforts to address these damaging biases often come up short.

Is it time for bold reform?

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It is a good read. I appreciated the recognition that judges don’t simply just fit into two categories:
“Conventional wisdom holds that there are two kinds of judges: umpires and activists. Umpires are the ones who choose to be objective: They call “balls and strikes,” dispassionately applying the law to the facts at hand. Activists, by contrast, are ideologues who choose to pursue their own agendas. In this conception — engrained in many judicial codes of conduct — bias is subject to introspection and is simply a matter of self-control. But the latest research suggests that all judges — just like all humans — are biased.”

Posted by: Lawrence Koplow | May 12, 2020 7:04:47 AM

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