Psychology | Law & Psychology of Crime
P657 | 3441 | Sherman S, Hoffmann J


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.