Sociologists on Trial: Theoretical Competition and Juror Reasoning

Peyrot, Mark; Burns, Stacy Lee
December 2001
American Sociologist;Winter2002, Vol. 32 Issue 4, p42
Academic Journal
This paper examines the work of sociologists as expert witnesses and how sociological theory is used in criminal trials. The study describes how alternative sociological theories were propounded by sociologist expert witnesses and used by competing lawyers to establish the correct understanding of the case. The paper indicates that the sociological testimony was relevant to the deliberations and verdicts and details how the judge's and jurors' practical treatment of the law and evidence reconciled the adversaries' mutually exclusive, partisan positions and the theoretical bases for those positions.


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