Thursday, April 15, 2021
The Unsettling Truth about Our Legal System: What the Mind Sciences Can Teach Teenagers About Criminal Injustice by Adam Benforado
Here is an excellent article on how cognitive biases affect criminal justice.
Young people deserve to be told the truth, even the painful truths that shake their faith in our existing institutions and norms. As a law professor, I see one of my main jobs as teaching skepticism. The best lawyers have a skeptical eye. The problem is that in law there is a particularly strong deference to the status quo—indeed, to the past. My students come in assuming that the cases in my Criminal Law casebook were all decided correctly and that the criminal code provisions we study are fair and effective. They assume that the people who gave us our laws, precedents, and procedures were smarter and more enlightened than they are. That’s a dangerous mindset and we would do well—all of us—to combat it. In nearly every other field of inquiry innovation is encouraged and rewarded. So why not in law?