Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Adam Benforado

Drexel University law professor Adam Benforado's new book is Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice. From his interview with NPR's Scott Simon:

SIMON: Your strongest recommendation in this book - dare I say most controversial - is to do away with live trials and create virtual trials. What would this do?

BENFORADO: So this is one of the proposals that I lay out really for far in the future. And why I recommend it is there's so many biases that psychologists have uncovered, so at trial it shouldn't determine the outcome - what color of skin the attorney representing the accused has or whether he has, you know, a particular inflection. And yet, we know that those things matter. And I don't think it's as radical as it might seem. There are certain constitutional problems related to the confrontation clause and...

SIMON: The right to confront your accuser - and that's not a virtual right. I mean, you're supposed be able to look your accuser in his or her face.

BENFORADO: Yeah, although we have already made exceptions in a lot of different areas.

SIMON: I have to ask you, professor, if you were to be (laughter) unjustly arrested I'm sure and put on trial, wouldn't you want the right to see 12 flesh-and-blood human beings like yourself sitting across from you and make your own best case?

BENFORADO: So I think that I would be more comfortable with a system that...[read on or listen to the interview]
--Marshal Zeringue