Psychology and Law Cases

Psychology and Law Cases
Barefoot v. Estelle (1983). 463 U.S. 880.
Supreme Court case looks at the use of expert mental health witness testimony to predict future behavior. Appropriate for abnormal psychology, psychological assessment, history and systems, and ethics courses.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954). 347 U.S. 483.
Supreme Court case looks at the effects of segregation and involves the use of social
science research and theory to create law. Useful for courses exploring prejudice and
discrimination and, more pointedly, classes in history and systems, research methods, and psychological assessment.

Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993). 113 S. Ct. 2786.
Supreme Court case addresses the usefulness of social science evidence in judicial
proceedings. Excellent for discussions in research methods, history and systems,
assessment, and ethics courses.
Frye v. United States (1923). 293 F. 1013.
Supreme Court case discusses social science expert witness evidentiary requirements.
Helpful for discussions in courses addressing research methods, history and systems,
assessment, and ethics.
Furman v. Georgia (1972). 408 U.S. 238.
Supreme Court case considers social science research in relation to capital punishment
and deterrence theory. Helpful for discussions in learning and motivation, history and
systems, social psychology, and research methods.
Kent v. United States (1966). 383 U.S. 86.
United States Supreme Court case addresses the psychosocial criteria used in determining whether a child will stand trial as an adult. Appropriate for discussions in child and adolescent psychology, adjustment, assessment, social psychology, childhood psychopathology, physiological psychology, and learning.
Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan (1982). 458 U.S.718.
United States Supreme Court case used social science to examined sex discrimination and
affirmative action in higher education. Useful for discussions in women and psychology,
adjustment, and social psychology classes.
Paris Adult Theatre I v. Slaton (1973). 413 U.S. 49.
United States Supreme Court case looks at the admissibility of social science evidence of obscenity. Useful for classroom discussions, debates, and reflections in social psychology.
People v. Bledsoe (1984). 36 Cal.3d 236.
California case looks at the use of evidence Rape Trauma Syndrome in rape prosecutions.
Helpful for class discussions in adjustment, women and psychology, child and adolescent
psychology, abnormal psychology, and assessment.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). 163 U.S. 537.
United States Supreme Court case addresses Constitutional law and the use of social
science evidence to create law. Useful for history and systems and social psychology
course discussions.
State v. Jarzbek (1987). 204 Conn. 683.
Connecticut case looks at the admissibility of videotaped child testimony outside the
presence of the alleged perpetrator in child sexual abuse trials. Will be helpful in
discussions related to child development, learning, memory, social psychology, perception, and adjustment.
Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California (1976). 17 Cal.3d 425.
California Supreme Court case focuses on professional tort liability of mental health
clinicians when dealing with potentially dangerous clients. A useful case illustration for ethics, abnormal psychology, and clinical service practica.
Yeager v. Greene (1985). 502 A.2d. 980.
Case looks at the issue of juror note taking to assist with recall, attention, and
understanding. A useful case for classes addressing sensation and perception and learning and memory.

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