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  • Procedural Justice

    By Natalie Gordon, M.A., DOAR analyst

    Imagine that your football team makes it to the Superbowl, but only because a referee made a bad call in the previous game that determined who would advance to the championship (hint: Superbowl 2019). You might have conflicted feelings: Happiness about your team, but concerns about the ease of breaching the fairness of the whole system. These concerns are the subject of an area of research on procedural justice that has implications for the courtroom. The fairness of procedures, referred to...

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  • Anecdotes and Analogies Header

    By Natalie Gordon, M.A., DOAR analyst

    What makes for an effective anecdote? In health research, good anecdotes are considered an exercise in generalization: “We have generalized from the data to the anecdote; we can generalize from the anecdote about the data and generalize to other contexts and populations.” Applying this to a trial setting, your party’s narrative or case theme might be viewed as the “data,” and the “other contexts and populations” might refer to your jurors and their own personal experiences. Thus, the anecdote...

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  • Bifurcation

    Concerns about so-called “spillover effects” abound in the legal system. As a result, trial separation (“bifurcation”) is used in cases where evidence about one decision might bias a separate, but related decision.

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  • Causal Chains

    By Natalie Gordon, M.A., Ph.D. student, DOAR analyst

    When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, many Americans asked—how did this happen?  Some attributed it to James Comey’s decision to re-open the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails just days earlier, while others looked farther back in time to Trump’s success on the Apprentice.  This investigation into what led Trump to become President exemplifies the human inclination to create causal chains when trying to understand events.  And we do this all the time, whether we’re trying to understand...

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