God in the Courtroom

God in the Courtroom : Religion's Role at Trial

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While the concept of "God in the courtroom" evokes a few grand images, there are numerous, often subtle, ways in which religion and law intersect. For example, religious beliefs might influence the decisions of legal decision makers, such as judges and jurors. Attorneys might rely on religion, both in the way they approach their professional practice generally and in specific trial tactics (e.g., using a scriptural rationale in arguing for a particular trial outcome). This book reviews legal developments and behavioral science research concerning the effects of religion on legal practice, decision-making processes of various legal actors, and trial outcomes. Chapters address jury selection and bias, attorneys' use of religion in legal movements, judges' religious beliefs and its role in their appointment, and the treatment of religious figures or institutions as litigants in court. By drawing from various research sources, the authors effectively explore the range of ways in which religion affects the actions of all of the major participants at trial: jurors, judges, attorneys, and litigants.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 152.4 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 476.27g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • graphs and tables
  • 0195328671
  • 9780195328677
  • 1,180,114

Review quote

"God in the Courtroom: Religion's Role at Trial is a compendium of religion and law's multivariate interactions....The authors successfully make a case that religious beliefs influence individual trial outcomes and constitutionally at large in areas such as protection of religious freedom, right to due process, and protection from cruel and unusual punishment....As the authors conclude, 'God is in the courtroom and God is likely there to stay.' (p. 207)."--PsycCRITIQUES"In God in the Courtroom, Brian H. Bornstein and Monica K. Miller have provided a well-written overview of religion's role in American trial practice. What separates this book from many in the 'religion and law' realm is its active engagement with religion's practical, rather than theoretical, role in the lives of judges, juries, advocates, plaintiffs, and defendants. The authors have laid out the pathway for future research in the field. This is impressive considering the scope of their topic and the mere 258 pages in which it is covered. God in the Courtroom is a pleasant read. It has the distinction of being an academic survey that is written in clear, plain English. This is no small feat. The book is approachable for practitioners and academics alike and does a good job highlighting each of the various areas where religion comes in contact with or influences trial practice." -Trevor G. Pinkerton, Journal of Law and Religionshow more

About Brian H. Bornstein

Brian H. Bornstein, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Law-Psychology, Social-Personality, and Cognitive Programs at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Monica K. Miller, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Criminal Justice Department and Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Social Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno.show more

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