When sentencing is hand down by the juries of our peers and after all the witness havetestified, the judge makes his ruling for time at fault, time served or not guilty. Finding out theoutcome has us all on our toes and can be very stressful. When given all the facts about a case,some investigators may find guilt and others may argue innocent. What kind of investigationscan be done to determine the fate of the accused when investigators do not agree?Confirmation bias or tunnel vision are terms used to describe the thought of readilybecoming convinced that the suspect is guilty, and may then no longer be open to alternativescenarios in which the suspect is innocent. ‘Confirmation bias leads people to selectivelyattend to information that is congruent with their prior conviction”.
(ERIC RASSIN, 2010) Wewould like to always see a case ending in the best outcome for the victim as well as the accusedbut this is not always the case in some investigations there are high rates of bias actions andtunnel vision in maybe just a few individual cases.Studies show when given test, many investigators would fall back on their opinion of thesuspect rather than the evidence that guides the case. people even play an active role in theproduction of confirming information. That is, they not only attend selectively to confirmingevidence, and overweigh confirming evidence, but they even create search strategies in a waythat confirmation is given more opportunity than falsification.
(ERIC RASSIN, 2010) Thismeans people in general are most eager to have given a falsified title to the accused rather thanredeeming them from the guilty verdict, even if there is no prior personally relevant reason toconfirm a hypothesis. As people we are strict judgers of everything without having aconscious of it.INFORMATIVE/PERSUASIVE ESSAY DRAFT3In other cases, the author records a study of findings in the reactions of Judges thatare most likely to preside over said cases and the results are staggering to witness the biasacts of leaders of the courts. One statement the author made was about the actions towardsthe test subjects by the Judges. “in a second study, naïve judges who evaluated the videorecordings of the interviews, were actually influenced by the number of confirming questions.That is, the more confirming questions the interviewer asked, the more likely naïve judges wereto perceive the interviewee as an extravert. Hence, by asking confirmatory questions, people cancreate confirmatory behavioral information, even in the eye of the naïve beholder”. (ERICRASSIN, 2010) I imagine if the Judges saw this report, a small but quick glance in the mirrorwould change how a lot of them view evidence in each case with the proper respect it deserves.
This study was done not to pass blame on anyone person or area of the justice system but toinform the system of changes that must happen to give the people a fair chance within trial. My question, “What kind of investigations can be done to determine the fate of theaccused when investigators do not agree?” cannot truly be answered because there is no right orwrong in the justice system when it comes to conducting this kind of investigation. It washypothesized that individuals who are faced with the question whether a suspect is guilty, aremore likely to be interested in guilt-confirming investigations than in exoneratinginvestigations. While in many legal systems, the fact finding is conducted by or undersupervision of professional judges. Therefore, the question arises to which extent the findingscan be extrapolated to the decision making by professionals. We like to argue that the differences between professional judges and lay people arenot impressive when it comes to the performance in fact finding (H.
, 1966)see also (E.,2010)for an illustration of similar cognitive processes in students, police officers, and legalINFORMATIVE/PERSUASIVE ESSAY DRAFT4professionals). After all, fact finding is not a judicial but an empirical activity.
Further,whereas the validity of the present findings for professional judges can be questioned, it mustbe recognized that in several systems, it is lay people who are burdened with thedetermination of the suspect’s guilt.