"A crusading legal scholar exposes the powerful psychological forces that undermine our criminal justice system--and affect us all Our nation is founded on the notion that the law is impartial, that legal cases are won or lost on the basis of evidence, careful reasoning and nuanced argument. But they may, in fact, turn on the temperature of the courtroom, the camera angle of a defendant's taped confession, or a simple word choice or gesture during a cross-examination. In Unfair, law professor Adam Benforado shines a light on this troubling new research, showing, for example, that people with certain facial features receive longer sentences and that judges are far more likely to grant parole first thing in the morning. In fact, over the last two decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have uncovered many cognitive forces that operate beyond our conscious awareness--and Benforado argues that until we address these hidden biases head-on, the social inequality we see now will only widen, as powerful players and institutions find ways to exploit the weaknesses in our legal system. Weaving together historical examples, scientific studies, and compelling court cases--from the border collie put on trial in Kentucky to the five teenagers who falsely confessed in the Central Park Jogger case--Benforado shows how our judicial processes fail to uphold our values and protect society's weakest members, convicting the innocent while letting dangerous criminals go free. With clarity and passion, he lays out the scope of the problem and proposes a wealth of reforms that could prevent injustice and help us achieve true fairness and equality before the law"-- Provided by publisher.
Formatted Contents Note
Investigation. The labels we live by : the victim Dangerous confessions : the detective The criminal mind : the suspect Adjudication. Breaking the rules : the lawyer In the eye of the beholder : the jury The corruption of memory : the eyewitness How to tell a lie : the expert Umpires of activists : the judge Punishment. An eye for an eye : the public Throwing away the key : the prisoner Reform. What we must overcome : the challenge What we can do : the future.