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Wrightsman’s Psychology and the Legal System 8th Edition by Edith Greene – Test Bank

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  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1133956564
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1133956563

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Wrightsman’s Psychology and the Legal System 8th Edition by Edith Greene – Test Bank

Chapter 8 Traditional Prosecutions:
Arrest, Bail, Plea Negotiation/
Settlement, and Trial

Questions for Class Discussion and/or Essay Examinations

1. List the purposes of the initial appearance. (Steps Between Arrest and Trial )

2. Explain the purpose of the preliminary hearing. (Steps Between Arrest and Trial)

3. Explain the purpose of the grand jury. Discuss the use or non-use of grand juries in recent cases, including the Trayvon Martin case and the Jerry Sandusky case. (Steps Between Arrest and Trial)

4. Describe the activities that take place during the arraignment. (Steps Between Arrest and Trial)

5. Explain the right of discovery for both civil and criminal trials. (Steps Between Arrest and Trial)

6. Discuss the discovery process and the significance of exculpatory evidence. (Steps Between Arrest and Trial)

7. Chapter 8 provided a list of common pretrial motions. List and describe these motions. (Steps Between Arrest and Trial)

8. Discuss the bail system as an attempt to resolve the basic conflict between an individual’s right to liberty and society’s right to be safe and protected from criminal offending. (The Decision to Set Bail)

9. Discuss the various legal and extralegal factors affecting judicial bail decisions. Include a review of the focal concerns perspective and matching heuristic in your discussion. (The Decision to Set Bail)

10. Discuss the various negative consequences of pretrial detention and the possible effects on trial outcomes. (The Decision to Set Bail)

11. Discuss preventive detention and the reasons for and against this controversial practice. (The Decision to Set Bail)

12. Approximately what percentage of criminal cases end with plea bargaining? Why are defendants motivated to plea bargain? Why are prosecutors motivated to plea bargain? (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

13. Compare and contrast charge bargaining and sentence bargaining. (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

14. Why do prosecutors “overcharge” defendants? (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

15. Chapter 8 indicates that the recommendations of defense attorneys interact with the defendant’s wishes when a plea bargain is being considered. Describe how these interact. (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

16. To understand the role of psychological factors in the process of plea bargaining, one can look at how researchers talk about other types of bargaining situations. For example, psychologists who study decision-making have learned that framing effects can have an impact on a person’s choice. Explain what framing effects are and how they can impact choice. (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases )

17. Discuss the role overconfidence bias might play in a defendant’s choice to accept or reject a plea bargain. (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

18. Discuss the recent case, Lafler v. Cooper (2012) which addressed defendants’ rights to effective representation in plea negotiations. (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

19. What would an advocate of plea bargaining say justifies the existence of this procedure? What would a critic say? (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases )

20. Discuss the process of settlement negotiation. Include a discussion of factors that determine settlement amounts. Note the recent BP settlement. (Settlements in Civil Cases)

21. How do heuristics such as the self-serving bias and the anchoring and adjustment bias play a role in settlement negotiations? How do negotiators’ “reservation price” or “bottom line” affect settlement negotiations. (Settlements in Civil Cases)

22. How do positive and negative emotion affect settlement negotiations? (Settlements in Civil Cases)

23. Judges must decide whether or not to keep criminal defendants in custody between arrest and trial. What are their options? (The Decision to Set Bail)

24. What does it mean to say that bail decisions are influenced by both legal and extralegal factors? (The Decision to Set Bail)

25. What are the best predictors of judicial decisions regarding bail? (The Decision to Set Bail)

26. Discuss the cognitive processes that judges use in determining whether bail should be allowed. (The Decision to Set Bail)

27. Describe the different factors which inhibit or prevent trials from being “searches for truth” and “tests of credibility.” How are trials conflict-resolving exercises? (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

28. Discuss the importance of opening statements in a trial and the various research addressing the impact of the timing of opening statements on trial outcomes. (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

29. Discuss the various aspects of witness testimony in a trial. Include the risk of perjury, direct and cross examinations, redirect and re-cross questioning, and rebuttal evidence in your discussion. (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

30. Compare and contrast the different evidentiary standards of “beyond a reasonable doubt” and “a preponderance of the evidence.” (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

31. What are some of the advantages prosecutors hold in a criminal trial process? What are some of the benefits or advantages provided to defendants? (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

32. Discuss criminal sentencing by judges and juries and the discretion judges may exercise when rendering a sentence. Be sure to include the Blakely case in your discussion. (Steps in the Trial Process)

33. Discuss the appellate process. On what grounds can appellate judges reverse earlier rulings. What kinds of decisions can judges make with respect to cases on appeal? (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

34. Describe and discuss the different technologies used in the courtroom and some of the possible effects this technology can have on different aspects of the trial process and trial outcomes. What are some benefits and drawbacks to using virtual environments? Refer to available research. (Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases)

Suggested Activities

Class Discussions and Debates

1. Debate: It is acceptable for the government to promise immunity to law breakers in order to get testimony that incriminates other (more important) law breakers. (See: It takes one to know one. (1986, March 10). Time, 45. This article is about a man who plea bargained a deferred charge by exchanging information on other criminals.)

2. Debate: Should plea bargaining exist? What are some of the benefits? Drawbacks? Trade-offs?

3. Debate: Should we keep the bail bond system? In fact, the bail bond system is only legal in the U.S. and in the Philippines. See the following for more information both pro and con: Liptak, A. (2008, January 29). Illegal globally: Bail for profit remains in U.S. The New York Times, A1.

4. Class Discussion: Do students believe that people charged with a heinous crime should not be released on bail even though they are “innocent until proven guilty”?

5. Class Activity: Provide the class with vignettes describing different scenarios involving defendants seeking bail. Based on the vignettes, have some students act as the defendant and present arguments for bail and have other students serve as judges and provide a decision. Discuss the outcomes and reasoning.

6. Debate: Divide students into groups of “plaintiffs” and “defendants” that are in a legal dispute (provide a script or background materials on the nature of the hypothetical civil matter) and have the opposing groups work on settlement negotiations. Have the class discuss the process and the final settlement, as well as the different factors that affected the process.

Research Activities and Assignments

1. Assignment: Have a student observe a preliminary hearing and report to the class on the procedures used and the decision rendered.

2. Research Assignment: Have a student determine what the laws and custom are in your state regarding the use of grand juries. If used, how is the grand jury selected?

3. Assignment: Interview a defense attorney about the fairness of the grand jury procedure.

4. Assignment: Interview a prosecutor and a defense attorney about what would happen if plea bargaining was prohibited.

5. Writing Assignment: Present the class with a description of a civil claim and assign students to plaintiff and defendant groups to draft and present opening statements for their side.

6. Writing/Class Activity: Have students prepare and conduct direct and cross examinations of witnesses in a hypothetical civil and criminal matter.

7. Give students a pre-sentencing report and file for a hypothetical defendant recently found guilty of different felony charges. Have students provide a sentence for the convicted defendant. Discuss students’ reasoning for their sentences.

8. Assignment: Interview a bail bonding agent, inquiring about the risks that the agent takes when posting bond for a defendant. Visit or to find a bail bonding agent near you

9. Assignment: Have a student interview a trial judge about his or her decisions in setting bail. Is the defendant’s dangerousness a consideration? Does publicity about the case affect the decision whether to permit bail?

Class Speakers/Guest Lecturers

1. Class Speakers: Invite a prosecutor and defense attorney to discuss the different steps and processes involved between a criminal arrest and a trial, including a discussion on plea bargaining and related practices.

2. Class Speaker: Invite a judge or bail commissioner to come and speak with the class about his or her experiences on different cases and the different considerations made when setting bail and/or detaining defendants.

3. Class Speakers: Invite a panel of private and criminal attorneys to speak about and to compare and contrast their experiences going to trial and also reaching settlements.

Media Activities

1. Video (DVD): View The Staircase, a very compelling account of the real-life case of Michael Peterson who was accused of murdering his wife. This six hour film looks at a defense from start to finish. It includes witness preparation and discussions of the defense attorneys on strategy. You can purchase this 2005 film through Amazon (

2. Video (DVD): Order in the Court. This program reviews many pretrial procedures including bail, indictment, and arraignment (trial procedures are also covered). Go to or call 1-800-257-5126 to order this 28 minute video from 2001.

3. Video (VHS/DVD): Order in the Court. This 28 minute program from 2001 goes over much of the pretrial process (e.g., grand jury, bail, arraignment). Go to or call 1-800-257-5126 to order.


4. Video (VHS/DVD): View PBS’ Frontline’s The Plea (2004) to “explore the moral, judicial and constitutional implications” of plea bargaining. Call 1-877-PBS-SHOP to order this 60 minute video. See the Suggested Websites section for more information.

5. Video: As noted in Chapter 7, Michael Vick accepted a plea bargain after he admitted to participating in illegal dogfighting. See the CBS 60 Minutes interview (8/16/09) of Michael Vick at

6. Video (DVD): Lockup: The Prisoners of Riker’s Island. This 1994 HBO production shows Rikers Island, a large jail complex where those in New York await trial if they cannot make bail. Go to or call 1-800-257-5126 to order this 75 minute video.

7. Video (DVD): Plea Bargains: Dealing for Justice. This Emmy Award nominated program covers many of the issues relevant to plea bargaining (e.g., who decides what kind of deal to make). Go to or call 1-800-257-5126 to order this 26 minute program.

8. Video (VHS): View Love’s Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder (this same movie is called Swearing Allegiance in the United Kingdom). This is the television movie that recounts the story of Diane Zamora and David Graham (see above), the movie that was shown prior to the trials of the two defendants (and pulled at the last moment from the jurisdiction from which the prospective jurors were to be drawn). Purchase through

Suggested Readings

1. Bogira, S. (2006). Courtroom 302: A year behind the scenes in an American
criminal courthouse. New York: Vintage.

Description: The author provides a realistic look at the criminal justice system in Chicago.

2. Feige, D. (2006). Indefensible: One lawyer’s journey into the inferno of American
justice. Boston: Little, Brown.

Description: David Feige provides an account of a typical day in the life of a public defender in the South Bronx.

3. American Bar Association. Frequently asked questions about the grand jury system. Retrieved on January 2, 2010 from


4. Is plea bargaining a cop-out? (1978, August 28). Time, 44, 47.

Description: An article on the pros and cons of plea bargaining. Includes a discussion of how the abolition of plea bargaining in Alaska has affected the state’s court system.

5. Davis, A. J. (2007). Arbitrary justice: The power of the American prosecutor. New
York: Oxford University Press.

Description: Drawing on her experience as a public defender, Davis illustrates how prosecutors’ decisions often produce unfair and unequal treatment of defendants and victims (e.g., often evident in plea-bargaining decisions).

6. Green, B. A. (2011). Developing standards of conduct for prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers. Hastings Law Journal, 62, 1093-1112.

Description: In 2010, along with the ABA Criminal Justice Section, more than a
dozen law schools hosted meetings among lawyers, academics and judges to address prosecutors’ and defense lawyers’ professional conduct. These meetings focused on the revision of the ABA Criminal Justice Standards for Prosecution and Defense Functions and the development of standards which could offer attorneys guidance in criminal cases. As background to the discussions, law professors prepared sixteen papers addressing different aspects of lawyers’ professional conduct in criminal cases. Two journals, the Hastings Law Review and the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, have published these articles.

7. Fisher, G. (2004). Plea bargaining’s triumph: A history of plea bargaining in
America. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Description: Provides the history from the early nineteenth century to the present.

See also:

Vogel, M. E. (2007). Coercion to compromise: Plea bargaining, the courts, and the
making of political authority. New York: Oxford University Press.

Savitsky, D. (2012). Is plea bargaining a rational choice? Plea bargaining as an
engine of racial stratification and overcrowding in the United States prison system. Rationality and Society, 24, 131-167,
Description: This article discusses incarceration in the United States, the steady increases in incarceration despite the decrease of criminal activity, and the disparity in incarceration across races. The article submits that plea bargaining, which accounts for 95% of criminal dispositions, is a major causal factor of high prison populations and high levels of racial stratification in prisons. The article also proposes that plea bargaining is a practice which (1) allows prosecutors to act on a political will to incarcerate large numbers of people and (2) is promoted in a system which places black defendants in worse bargaining positions and renders them more likely to receive worse bargains.

8. Donohue, L. (2012). Terrorism and trial by jury: The vices and virtues of British and American criminal law. Stanford Law Review, 59, 2007.

Description: This article discusses the relationship between terrorism and jury trials and weighs the advantages and disadvantages of suspending juries specifically for terrorism. The article also reviews and compares the United Kingdom’s and the United States’ experiences in this context, and discusses the issues of juror selection, constraints placed on jurors, and the conduct of the trial itself.

9. Bruschke, J., & Loges, W. E. (1999). Relationship between pretrial publicity and trial outcomes. Journal of Communication, 49(4), 104-120.

Description: This study examined actual federal murder trials over a 3-year period to evaluate the effects of pretrial publicity on case outcomes and sentences. The results suggested that convictions were associated with low levels of publicity, defendants were more successful under moderate publicity levels, and for convicted defendants, pretrial publicity was associated with longer sentences.

10. See newspaper articles and magazine reports during May 1997 on the testimony of Michael Fortier during the trial of Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing. Fortier and his wife plea bargained and became witnesses for the prosecution. What was the bargain? What were the motivations? For example, see Fleeman, M. (1997, May 13).

Description: Suicide bomb plan described. Witness says McVeigh sought ‘general uprising.’ San Diego Union Tribune, A1.

11. Harden, B. (1999, February 27). Parading of suspects is evolving tradition:
Condemned by federal judge, “perp walks” are likely to continue—in some
form. The New York Times, B1-B2.

Description: According to some reports, one of the “traditions” of the criminal justice system is the “perp walk,” parading the suspects (some who are, of course, later acquitted) by the press for the purpose of getting good TV footage. Should there be a policy against perp walks? See this article for more information.

12. Heymann, P. B., & Kenety, W. H. (1985). The murder trial of Wilbur Jackson: A
homicide in the family (2nd ed.). St. Paul, MN: West Publishing.

Description: This wonderful book describes a real case from start to finish; for the purposes of this chapter, readers may wish to consult the portions of the change of venue hearing transcript available in this book (pp. 32-45).

13. For more on the case of Timothy McVeigh here are a couple of the many books available (the first was co-written by Stephen Jones, McVeigh’s government-appointed attorney):

Israel, P., & Jones, S. (2001). Others unknown: Timothy McVeigh and the
Oklahoma City bombing conspiracy. New York: Public Affairs.

Michael, L., & Herbeck, D. (2001). American terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the
Oklahoma City bombing. New York: Harper.
Description: The government has also put out an electronic book (CD) with documents pertaining to the Oklahoma City bombing. This CD, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing-Terrorist tragedy at the Murrah Federal Building-Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, is available from

Suggested Websites

1. Go to the Oyez website ( for more information about the following
Supreme Court cases:

Gannett Co. v. DePasquale (1979)
Mu’Min v. Virginia (1991)
Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart (1976)
Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia (1980)
Rideau v. Louisiana (1963)
Santobello v. New York (1971)
United States v. Salerno (1987)

2. At Findlaw you can find information regarding all the stages of a case; visit

3. The American Bar Association has a website that has information regarding all the steps from arrest to trial:

4. At the Pretrial Services Resource Page one can obtain information on pretrial issues. Documents include information from a recent national survey of pretrial services programs (

5. Learn more about the grand jury from NPR. Visit the website


6. Recall that in Chapter 7, there was a mention that many thought that James Earl Ray had not acted alone and unfortunately, with the plea bargain, the facts of the case would not be aired in a public forum. To read more about this case, visit the CNN website Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination at Included at this site is information about the case against Ray and conspiracy theories.

7. Visit the website for Frontline’s The Plea program for more information regarding plea bargaining (

This website includes answers to many frequently asked questions about plea bargaining (e.g., “What are the pros and cons of pleas?”) as well as interviews with professionals within the legal system on the implications of relying on plea bargains.

8. See bail jumpers listed by state online at

9. Visit websites for The Professional Bail Agents of the United States ( or ( to learn more about bail (e.g., the history of bail).

10. For a discussion and various resources on how the media and pretrial publicity affect capital trials, see the website See also the website which discusses the pretrial publicity of the Scott Peterson case.

11. Another source of information regarding pretrial publicity can be found at Effects of Pretrial Publicity.pdf.

For a commentary on the effects of social media on pretrial publicity and how this specifically affected the George Zimmerman, the suspect in the Trayvon Martin murder, see

12. For a discussion about the factors affecting the setting of bail and a recent case in which a judge set bail for a suspect accused of making death threats on Facebook at one million dollars, see

13. For a comprehensive review of the different stages of a civil lawsuit, see

14. For an overview of the different stages and steps in US criminal trial procedure, see
Test Bank

Multiple Choice Questions

1. According to Chapter 8, what percentage of defendants had their cases dismissed prior to trial?

A. 12%
B. 24%
C. 36%
D. 48%

Answer: B Reference: Steps Between Arrest and Trial

2. Charging someone with a crime

A. occurs automatically after an arrest.
B. implies a formal decision to continue with prosecution.
C. is another word for “arrested.”
D. is a decision made by the police.

Answer: B Reference: Steps Between Arrest and Trial

3. The initial appearance must take place soon after arrest because extended detention of those charged with a crime violates which of the following amendments?

A. 2nd
B. 3rd
C. 4th
D. 5th

Answer: C Reference: Steps Between Arrest and Trial

4. What is the primary purpose of the initial appearance in court?

A. The defendant enters a plea.
B. The judge reviews the evidence summarized by the prosecutor to determine whether probable cause exists for believing that the suspect committed the crime(s) charged.
C. The jury determines whether or not the defendant is guilty.
D. The grand jury issues an indictment.

Answer: B Reference: Steps Between Arrest and Trial

5. During the preliminary hearing

A. the defendant is required by law to testify.
B. the defense attorney is required to present his or her case to the judge.
C. the jury is selected.
D. the prosecuting attorney presents evidence against the defendant.

Answer: D Reference: Steps Between Arrest and Trial

6. The purpose of a grand jury is

A. to acquit or convict.
B. to indict or not to indict.
C. to arraign.
D. to defend.

Answer: B Reference: Steps Between Arrest and Trial

7. In about _______________________ of states, a criminal defendant cannot be ______________________ unless a grand jury has found grounds to do so.

A. two-thirds; charged
B. one-third; prosecuted
C. two-thirds; indicted
D. one-third; charged

Answer: B Reference: Steps Between Arrest and Trial

8. In the 2012 homicide case of Trayvon Martin, _______________________ made the decision to charge George Zimmerman, the suspect accused of killing the youth.

A. a grand jury
B. the prosecutor
C. the local police
D. the county judge in a preliminary hearing

Answer: B Reference: Steps Between Arrest and Trial



9. As seen in the Jerry Sandusky case, a _____________________ may issue a(n) _____________ on multiple charges based on one or more events if there is evidence sufficient for trial.

A. grand jury; indictment
B. prosecutor; indictment
C. judge; warrant
D. judge; preliminary hearing

Answer: A Reference: Steps Between Arrest and Trial

10. During the arraignment process

A. the suspect is arrested.
B. the suspect enters a plea.
C. the suspect is allowed one phone call.
D. the suspect decides whether to accept a plea bargain.

Answer: B Reference: Steps Between Arrest and Trial


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