More Talk Radio on 07/02/12
Hosts Cecil Prescod and Celeste Carey interview professor Dan Simon about his book In Doubt: The Psychology of the Criminal Justice Process. Simon is Professor of Law and Psychology at the University of Southern California.
The criminal justice process is unavoidably human. Police detectives, witnesses, suspects, and victims shape the course of investigations, while prosecutors, defense attorneys, jurors, and judges affect the outcome of adjudication. Dan Simon will talk about how flawed investigations can produce erroneous evidence and why well-meaning juries send innocent people to prison and set the guilty free.
Why do victims and eyewitnesses identify innocent people as the perpetrators of the crimes? Why do innocent people confess to being guilty? Why do detectives, prosecutors, judges and jurors place their faith in these errneous testimonies? Simon says the answers to these questions lie in failures in human cognition.
Simon will also discuss ways to improve the accuracy of criminal investigations and trials. While the limitations of human cognition will always be an obstacle, these reforms can enhance the criminal justice system’s ability to decide correctly whom to release and whom to punish.