More Than the Law: Behavioral and Social Facts in Legal Decision Making
Complex legal issues often involve contested facts that require expert knowledge. In such cases, legal decision makers look to experts from fields as diverse as the behavioral, social, biomedical, or physical sciences to help settle disputes.
More Than the Law provides a fascinating and accessible introduction for students and other readers to the ways in which behavioral and social knowledge can and should inform legal decisions, as well as ways in which such knowledge can be misused. Eleven different stories are presented, highlighting major legal decisions such as mandatory testing for drug use in schools, abortion, use of the death penalty, and jury selection, among others.
Chapters include a presentation of each decision and an analysis that critically explores the behavioral and social facts relevant to the case. Through these stories, students will discover the complexities and problems that can result from the application of behavioral science to legal decisions. Behavioral and social science experts will come to understand the special duty they bear to provide legal decision makers with the most accurate information available. And empirical researchers will recognize vast opportunities for research that could have a real impact in the courts, legislatures, and administrative agencies.
This exceptional book fills a gap in the field of legal studies, offering a sophisticated examination of the use of behavioral and social science facts in judicial, legislative, and administrative determinations.