The weekend is here.
The National Institute of Justice magazine came over the transom this week, with several interesting items. Dr. Jon Gould, et. al., have a lengthy article on wrongful convictions, Predicting Erroneous Convictions: A Social Science Approach to Miscarriages of Justice – over 400 pages. A bit of his research has been sponsored by the NIJ. So, NIJ has condensed that to some clips of a video interview with him on the primary reasons for wrongful convictions: Brady violations, tunnel vision (which I often refer to by its name in psychology of confirmation bias). There is some consistency with this graph published by the Center for Prosecutorial Integrity. There are several Gould clips available through YouTube, and there is a transcript available at each link. Here is part III, they are all less than five minutes.
The first video of the three is where he discusses a general approach. You might be interested in his term, “a near miss.” In the second video he talks about the top ten significant factors for a wrongful conviction. The second NIJ set of pieces relate to collateral consequences. Sarah Berson, Beyond the Sentence – Understanding Collateral Consequences, and you might check out the National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction.
The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction—legal sanctions and restrictions imposed upon people because of their criminal record—are hard to find and harder to understand. Now it will be easier to do both. Congress directed the National Institute of Justice to collect and study collateral consequences in all U.S. jurisdictions, and NIJ selected the ABA Criminal Justice Section to perform the necessary research and analysis.
The Barrister is an English publication full of pithy articles about the mundane to important affecting the legal profession. Here is a very interesting piece by Barbara Hewson, The cult of victimhood and the limits of the law. An aspect of her piece is another reference to confirmation bias and the issue of the associated “believe the victim” problems. And finally, not to be accomplished this weekend, Hunter & Else, The Attorney’s Guide to Defending Veterans in Criminal Court, came across the transom in hard copy form. It is published by the Veterans Defense Project. I’ve been privileged to have access to the digital version pre-publication. While the book is directed toward civilian court, there are certainly a number of sections that can be adapted for court-martial. Evan Seamone has a chapter to himself.