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Scientific Evidence Admissibility: Improving Judicial Proceedings To Decrease Erroneous Outcomes, Leica Kwong 2019 San Jose State University

Scientific Evidence Admissibility: Improving Judicial Proceedings To Decrease Erroneous Outcomes, Leica Kwong

Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science

In the United States, Federal Rules of Evidence 702, the Frye and Daubert standards govern the admissibility of scientific evidence in the courtroom. Some states adopted Frye while others adopted Daubert, causing varying judicial outcomes. The verdicts in some cases may be erroneous due to a nationally used standard. Frye has broad criteria of requiring scientific evidence to be generally accepted. While Daubert contains more requirements for the evidence to be admissible, such as peer review, publication, and scientific principles. Daubert, alongside FRE 702, provides a thorough guideline for trial judges who have the gatekeeping role to decide admissibility aiming ...


The Accumulation Of Wear On Footwear Pattern Analysis, Sarah Pawloski 2019 San Jose State University

The Accumulation Of Wear On Footwear Pattern Analysis, Sarah Pawloski

Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science

Wear is defined as the erosion of a shoe’s outsole or the loss of tread pattern, and it happens gradually over time with use. After a shoeprint is collected from a crime scene, it is questioned whether an individualization can be made if an exemplar is created after additional use of the shoe. The shoes of ten volunteers at San Jose State University were analyzed over a period of 40-45 days. Wear and Randomly Acquired Characteristics (RACs) were analyzed over time to determine if there were any observable changes or additions to the already present wear. It was hypothesized ...


Justifying Justice: Six Factors Of Wrongful Convictions And Their Solutions, Colby Duncan 2019 San Jose State University

Justifying Justice: Six Factors Of Wrongful Convictions And Their Solutions, Colby Duncan

Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science

There have been over 300 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the history of the United States. While this number may initially seem significant, there is still an unfathomable population of wrongfully convicted prisoners who have yet to be considered for retrials. Unaddressed wrongful conviction cases highlight the unacceptable weaknesses in the U.S. justice system, weaknesses that include poor investigative tactics and the acceptance or allowance of inaccurate and unreliable evidence. This paper will dutifully analyze the causes that lead to wrongful convictions and amply discuss potential solutions, all of which includes eyewitness misidentification, improper forensics, false confessions, informants, government misconduct ...


Physical Match: Uniqueness Of Torn Paper, Marilyn Aguilar 2019 San Jose State University

Physical Match: Uniqueness Of Torn Paper, Marilyn Aguilar

Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science

In the forensic science field, it is generally accepted that all tears and fractures are unique; however, there is limited scientific evidence to support this. This study tests the claim that all tears are unique, focusing on paper. One-hundred Office Depot brand 3” x 5” blank, white index cards were torn in half by hand. Six halves were randomly removed; the remaining 94 halves were mixed and then matched by a novice using end-match analysis. The removal of the 6 random halves left 44 matching pairs. Of the remaining halves, all 44 pairs were correctly matched. The results show that ...


Decomposition Of Pig Carcasses At Varying Room Temperature, Jacqueline Abad Santos 2019 San Jose State University

Decomposition Of Pig Carcasses At Varying Room Temperature, Jacqueline Abad Santos

Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science

The goal of this study is to assess the qualitative scoring of decomposition scales with statistical analysis while also determining which indoor environment will decompose the fastest. When comparing the three indoor environments, water decomposition appears to be the fastest, but the method of analysis for this study determines that using decomposition scales to analyze such environments may produce statistically insignificant results. For this study, piglets were put in a dry steel tub, a water filled steel tub, and a suitcase. These were recorded using photographs for 25 days and then scored using decomposition scales. The total score was divided ...


Furman V. Georgia And The Supreme Court's Failure To Apply It, Callie Maslowsky 2019 University of Pennsylvania

Furman V. Georgia And The Supreme Court's Failure To Apply It, Callie Maslowsky

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

In the case of Furman v. Georgia (1972), the Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty on the grounds that its use constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. No majority opinion was written, but the plurality opinions all agreed that the amount of discretion in death penalty sentencing left too much room for the death penalty to be given arbitrarily. When the death penalty was reinstated in Gregg v. Georgia (1976), the Court approved schemes that limited the discretion of sentencing bodies by providing sentencing guidelines, automatically appealing all death penalty cases for review, or taking ...


Death Is Different. Death Sentencing Is Not., Simone Unwalla 2019 University of Pennsylvania

Death Is Different. Death Sentencing Is Not., Simone Unwalla

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

This paper investigates the conditional demands of Death-Is-Different jurisprudence in the United States criminal justice system and argues that the dissonance between the need for heightened protections in capital sentencing and the reality of our capital-sentencing institutions ultimately renders the death penalty, as it currently exists in our society, impermissible. This claim is substantiated in three parts: first, through an analysis of foundational death penalty decisions from the Supreme Course, which condemn the arbitrary nature of capital juries while simultaneously justifying their constitutional necessity as sentencing agents; second, through an examination of the development of Death-Is-Different jurisprudence and its conceptual ...


The Effect Of Lineup Size On Eyewitness Accuracy, Alyssa Baumann 2019 Augsburg College

The Effect Of Lineup Size On Eyewitness Accuracy, Alyssa Baumann

Augsburg Honors Review

The research investigated the impact of the number of members in a police lineup on eyewitness identification. Participants attempted to identify the perpetrator from either a sequential or simultaneous lineup. The number of members in the lineup differed between 6 members and 12 members, simultaneous or sequential lineup presentation, and target-present or target-absent. In the target-present condition, the research was concerned with correct identifications. Thus, the 6 member simultaneous lineup should yield the most correct identifications. The 12 member simultaneous lineup should yield the second highest. The 6 and 12 member sequential lineup presentation should yield fewer correct identifications because ...


Police Integrity Lost Podcast Episode 52: Race, Racism And The Murder Conviction Of Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor, Philip M. Stinson 2019 Bowling Green State University

Police Integrity Lost Podcast Episode 52: Race, Racism And The Murder Conviction Of Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor, Philip M. Stinson

Philip M Stinson

This episode of the Police Integrity Lost Podcast features an interview of Professor Phil Stinson by Damien Carrick that originally aired in Australia on the ABC Radio National show The Law Report on May 7, 2019.


Dismantling Structural Inequality: Lock Ups, Systemic Chokeholds, And Race-Based Policing - A Symposium Summary, Cedric Merlin Powell, Laura R. McNeal 2019 University of Louisville

Dismantling Structural Inequality: Lock Ups, Systemic Chokeholds, And Race-Based Policing - A Symposium Summary, Cedric Merlin Powell, Laura R. Mcneal

Laura R. McNeal

The prominence of the carceral state in American society serves to undermine basic principles of democracy and justice, disproportionately displacing people of color and excluding them from all viable avenues of citizenship.


The Antebellum Development Of The Penitentiary Debate In South Carolina, Florence Gregorie Sloan 2019 Wofford College

The Antebellum Development Of The Penitentiary Debate In South Carolina, Florence Gregorie Sloan

Student Scholarship

The early 19th century was marked by reform movements aimed at alleviating poverty, reducing crime, decreasing illiteracy, and providing better care for the mentally ill. In the United States, as in Europe, the debate over prison reform arose from the growing public fear that the stability of social institutions and values was crumbling, especially because lawlessness abounded across the country in the Jacksonian era.[1] Reformers sought a way to save and preserve the established social order, and reformers found their cure-all solution in the establishment of penitentiaries, which were institutions that sought to transform the criminal into an ...


Examining Witness Testimony In Domestic Homicides, Hana Chae 2019 City University of New York (CUNY)

Examining Witness Testimony In Domestic Homicides, Hana Chae

Student Theses

The present study investigated the effects of varying witness testimony on mock jurors’ perceptions of a case where a woman utilizes self-defense as a reason for killing her husband during a domestic dispute. A 3 (expert witness) x 3 (child witness) design was used to examine the effects of two different forms of expert testimony (Battered Woman Syndrome [BWS] & Social Agency [SA]) and its interaction with presence of child witness [age 5 & age 8]. Jury eligible participants (N = 245) were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). It was hypothesized that the presence of an expert witness would positively impact jurors ...


A Rhetorical Analysis Of Opening Statements In Trial: Reconsidering The Classical Canon Of Invention, Andrew Chandler 2019 Bellarmine University

A Rhetorical Analysis Of Opening Statements In Trial: Reconsidering The Classical Canon Of Invention, Andrew Chandler

Undergraduate Theses

This analysis of 21 opening statements probes at current persuasive practices employed by trial attorneys through the lens of mainstream legal advice and an expanded definition of rhetorical invention – one which includes both discovery and creation. An evaluation of such practice reveals the utility, and furthermore the duty of the advocate, to draw upon an expanded realm of available arguments.


Evaluating The Educational Impact Of Ballot Measure 11 Workshops & Youths’ Perceptions Of Justice, Ginger Ruddell 2019 Portland State University

Evaluating The Educational Impact Of Ballot Measure 11 Workshops & Youths’ Perceptions Of Justice, Ginger Ruddell

Student Research Symposium

In 1994 the State of Oregon passed Ballot Measure 11, which allows for the mandatory minimum sentencing for several types of felonies. This measure also allows for juveniles as young as 15 to be subjected to this mandatory sentencing. Due to the severity of this measure, several youth agencies throughout the state of Oregon became concerned about the consequences of mandatory sentencing on youth, and decided to create educational workshops to allow more awareness of Ballot Measure 11 sentencing. Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC), is the front runner for this workshop. Their goals are to educate/raise awareness, prevent contact ...


Analysis Of Error Within Forensic Measurements And Photogrammetry Programs, Amy Douglas 2019 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Analysis Of Error Within Forensic Measurements And Photogrammetry Programs, Amy Douglas

Honors Theses, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Digital images and photography have been considered commonplace in forensic science since the late 1990’s. Photogrammetry is a tool used in forensic science to measure objects within photographs that contain a scale or programs that are able to measure items in 3D images. Items at crime scenes often need to be measured and forensic scientists may not know what the best option is for their situation. This research will be conducted to show which type of measurement technique is most accurate, calculated against NIST traceable measurements, at various sizes of objects. The measurement techniques that will be tested are ...


The Power Of Prosecutors, Jeffrey Bellin 2019 William & Mary Law School

The Power Of Prosecutors, Jeffrey Bellin

Faculty Publications

One of the predominant themes in the criminal justice literature is that prosecutors dominate the justice system. Over seventy-five years ago, Attorney General Robert Jackson famously proclaimed that the “prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America.” In one of the most cited law review articles of all time, Bill Stuntz added that prosecutors—not legislators, judges, or police—“are the criminal justice system’s real lawmakers.” And an unchallenged modern consensus holds that prosecutors “rule the criminal justice system.”

This Article applies a critical lens to longstanding claims of prosecutorial preeminence. It ...


Imagining A Non-Violent World "The Be The Peace, Make A Change Project": A Rural Community Peacebuilding Initiative To End Gender-Based Violence, Nancy M. Ross 2019 Dalhousie University

Imagining A Non-Violent World "The Be The Peace, Make A Change Project": A Rural Community Peacebuilding Initiative To End Gender-Based Violence, Nancy M. Ross

Peace and Conflict Studies

This article will profile the innovative community engagement process initiated by the "Be the Peace, Make a Change" project to end gender-based violence in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, and conclude with lessons learned. These lessons were summarized as "headlines" to imagine a future with new narratives for interpersonal relationships. This project was a three-year grassroots initiative of Second Story Women’s Centre, funded by Status of Women Canada. It engaged the rural communities of Lunenburg County to develop a coordinated response to violence against women and girls. It focused on the engagement of all genders, youth, and adults in exploring ...


Shootings, Strain, And Safety On A College Campus: An Analysis Of Perceptions Of Safety And Concealed Carry, Amanda S. Bishop 2019 East Tennessee State University

Shootings, Strain, And Safety On A College Campus: An Analysis Of Perceptions Of Safety And Concealed Carry, Amanda S. Bishop

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

School and campus shootings are a contemporary problem in the United States. Because of these shootings, colleges have enacted new policies to ensure safety on their campuses, including concealed carry on campus. The State of Tennessee has a unique law in place that allows colleges to create their own policies regarding concealed carry on campus, with the stipulation that only full-time faculty and staff can carry concealed weapons. East Tennessee State University is one campus with this policy. East Tennessee State University students, faculty, and staff were questioned via email survey about their perceptions of safety on campus and opinions ...


Perceptions Of Soring In Tennessee Walking Horses, Hannah Medford 2019 East Tennessee State University

Perceptions Of Soring In Tennessee Walking Horses, Hannah Medford

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study is to explore the perceptions of soring in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. Although a limited amount of research has focused on the practice, this is the first known study to utilize a criminological lens to better understand the perceptions and motivations of its use. The study relies upon data collected from Tennessee Walking Horse trainers, event attendees, and Designated Qualified Persons (DQPs), which are analyzed via a mixed-methods approach. Agnew’s (1998) theory on the causes of animal abuse serves as the theoretical framework for this analysis. Results provide a moderate amount of support ...


Beliefs About Police Error Leading To Wrongful Convictions And Attitudes On Police Legitimacy, Julia Melfi 2019 University at Albany, State University of New York

Beliefs About Police Error Leading To Wrongful Convictions And Attitudes On Police Legitimacy, Julia Melfi

Criminal Justice

This study investigates the relations between citizens’ perceptions of how police misconduct as a factor contributing to wrongful convictions is connected to attitudes towards police legitimacy. I hypothesized that there would be a negative correlation between the two variables such that the more individuals believe police error contributes to wrongful convictions, the less legitimate they perceive the police to be. I also examined how citizens’ race affects these perceptions and attitudes, too, and hypothesized that Black citizens are more likely than White citizens to believe police error leads to wrongful conviction and mistrust the police. To test the hypotheses data ...


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