Psychology | Law/Psychology of Crime, Culpability & Punishment
P657 | 3502 | S. Sherman & J. Hoffman

We plan to use real and/or hypothetical case studies in criminal law
to provide a focus for our coverage of the following topics:
1) Judgment and decision-making in relation to issues of moral
responsibility, 2) Individual construction of moral responsibility,
3)Diminished responsibility, 4a) Judgments of comparative
desert/culpability.  How do we set levels of punishments? 4b) In
addition, the feeling of the defendant about the appropriate level of
punishment. 5) Issues of diversity in judgments of culpability and
punishment.  We will begin each segment of the course by having all of
the students read about a real and/or hypothetical criminal-law case
that raises one or more difficult moral/legal issues.  We will then
assign relevant readings from the psychology literature, as well as
from the legal literature, in an effort to achieve greater insight
into the behavior and perceptions of the actors in the case (as well
as the behavior and perceptions of those who have traditionally shaped
the doctrines of criminal law lawyers, judges, and especially juries).
At the end of each segment, we will return to the case study, and we
will discuss the potential implications of what we have learned for
the development of the criminal law.