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  • By Natalie Gordon, M.A., DOAR analyst

    Recently, we have heard stories in the media being described as instances of “restorative justice.” But sometimes an alleged example of restorative justice will not encompass all the core principles of restorative justice, or will conflict with the principles of our criminal justice system. Some recent examples may help illustrate what restorative justice is — and is not.

    In October, President Donald Trump arranged a meeting at the White House for the family of Harry Dunn, a British teenager killed in...

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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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