About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 115-year history and reputation for academic excellence. We are located on the beautiful 228-acre USC University Park Campus, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
Learn about our rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum, our invaluable experiential learning opportunities, and the breadth and depth of our specialized areas of concentration and certificate offerings.
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- + AREAS OF CONCENTRATION
- ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
- BUSINESS LAW
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- PUBLIC INTEREST LAW
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- ACADEMIC CALENDAR
- COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
Law and Psychology: Making a Murderer (Fall 2017)
- Course Number: LAW-858
- Class Number: 03605
- Instructor: Dan Simon
Course description, goals, and expectations:
Given the pressing societal need to punish criminal behavior and the solemn nature of depriving people of their liberty, the accuracy of the criminal justice process is of paramount importance. This course examines the difficulties that hinder the making of accurate factual findings. We will apply psychological research to explain the performance of the people who operationalize the process—witnesses, investigators, attorneys, judges, and jurors. Topics include: investigating crime, eyewitness identification, witness memory for criminal events, police interrogation, confessions, detection of deceit, and jury decision-making. Special attention will be devoted to discrepancies between how human behavior is viewed from the legal and the psychological perspectives. The course will help understand why we occasionally convict innocent people and acquit the guilty, and what can be done to enhance the accuracy of the process.
Description: This class applies experimental psychological research to explain the performance of the criminal process. It explores why we occasionally convict innocent people and acquit the guilty.
The primary objective of this course is to expose students to the contribution of experimental psychology towards a better understanding of the criminal process.
- Unit Value: 3
- Grading Options: Numerical or CR/D/F
- Schedule: M 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
- Room Number: Room 12
- Exam: In-class exam
- Writing Requirement: No
- Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: no
- Participation: Points will be awarded
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