Crime and Criminal Justice

Brain Imaging and Lie Detection

Previous research has pointed to the inability of humans to reliably detect lies in others. Studies have demonstrated that polygraph data is also frequently inaccurate and unreliable, and it is generally prohibited as admissible evidence in courtrooms in the U.S. Thus, new forms of technology have been sought as an objective method of lie detection. [...]

Racial Bias in the Decision to Shoot

As compared with White criminal suspects, Black suspects are overrepresented among those shot and killed by police officers. Record keeping methods make it difficult to assess these rates for Asians and Latino/as, groups are expected to increase significantly in the U. S. population in the coming decades. According to Sadler and colleagues, many factors may [...]

The Effect of Jury Deliberation on Juvenile Offender Stereotypes

Although jurors are instructed to focus on the evidence presented and to remain open-minded, pre-existing stereotypes may influence jurors’ attention, encoding and recall of evidence, and ultimately their judgments about the case. Haegerich and colleagues (2012) investigated the impact of pre-existing and experimentally activated juvenile offender stereotypes on the decisions of mock jurors who heard [...]

Stereotype Threat in Criminal Investigations

Research on racial disparities in law enforcement indicates that African Americans are disproportionately targeted as suspects, interrogated, and wrongfully convicted. Evidence also suggests that people of color are more likely than Whites to have falsely confessed to crimes. Najdowski (2011) reviewed literature related to the potential role of stereotype threat in these false confessions. In [...]

Are Parents Responsible for Juvenile Crime?

Laws have been enacted in jurisdictions across the U.S. that hold parents responsible for the delinquent behavior of their children. Yet, little information is available on public support for these laws. Brank, Greene, and Hochevar (2011) argued that this information is important because level of public support could influence authorities’ enforcement of, and parents’ compliance [...]

Do Defense Attorney Referrals for Competence to Stand Trial Evaluations Depend on Whether the Client Speaks English or Spanish?

According to Varela, Boccaccini, Gonzalez, Gharagozloo, and Johnson (2011), approximately 60,000 competency to stand trial (CST) evaluations are held each year in the United States, making it the most common forensic mental health evaluation conducted. This evaluation determines whether the defendant has a degree of rational and factual understanding sufficient to consult with a lawyer [...]

Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Victimization in the Military

According to Burks (2011), the provisions of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) have made it challenging to study its effects. DADT (December 1993 – September 2011) barred openly lesbian, gay, or bisexual individuals from military service while at the same time requiring that military officials not initiate investigations of a servicemember’s sexual orientation without sufficient [...]

Psychological Consequences of Exposure to Gang Violence

Gang and community violence is a significant public health risk, with adolescents more likely to be the victims of violence than adults. Kelly (2010) conducted an extensive literature review to investigate the psychological consequences to adolescents of exposure to gang and community violence. She reviewed 103 studies on this topic that were published in peer-reviewed [...]