Throughout the term, you learned about different types of social science evidence, their use in criminal trials, and the implications thereof. For your final project, you are required to research a public trial from recent years. (e.g. Rodney King, O.J. Simpson, Trayvon Martin, Kaycee Anthony, George Floyd) Review videos and/or articles regarding expert witness testimony that was used during the trial. Identify social science evidence that was used during the trial or that should have been used during the trial. Prepare a power point presentation that discusses the use of social science evidence during the trial.
(Reading/Skimming chapter 8 “Pretrial Publicity, Cameras in the Courtroom, and Social Media Effects on the Fair Trial” may be helpful to you in the completion of this assignment, although it is not necessary)
Your assignment should consist of no less than 7 and no more than 10 substantive slides. Use the following questions to guide the composition of your presentation.
1. Case name, relevant facts, charge/issue, ultimate verdict
2. What types of social science evidence was used, if any?
3. If no social science evidence was used, what type of evidence should have been used?
4. From what you’ve learned, are there any admissibility concerns? Why or why not?
5. What are the ultimate implications of the use of this type of evidence in criminal trials? Should it be used in the future or should it be banned? Why or why not?
6. What effect(s) would the use of this evidence have on a jury? (Would it inflame their sympathies? Would it play into any racial/gender/cultural biases?)
7. What effect(s) does the media play in the ultimate outcome of the case?
8. Discuss anything else you feel is germane to your particular case.
You do not have to answer all of these questions with your presentation; they are simply here to help guide you.
You will be graded, as always, on how well analyzed your presentation is.