THE Governor of Bangkok is suing the Thai Auditor-General for holding a press conference during which the Auditor accused the Governor of taking bribes.
THE mayor of a Russian city has been sentenced to 12½ years in a high security prison after a bribery conviction. His supporters allege that the charges are politically motivated as he is the only opposition mayor of a major Russian city.
AT the same time, a list of the most corrupt regions of Russia has been released by the Russian Prosecutor-General. The list only covers reported criminal offences rather than surveys of people’s experience of corruption.
A NEW French anti-corruption law is due to come into force later this year. It will require companies doing business in France to implement anti-corruption compliance programmes.
IN a fascinating interlacing of the criminal law on rape, coercion and perverting the course of justice, a UK woman who made a rape allegation against her husban, retracted it under pressure from the husband and was prosecuted after the case was dropped for failure to cooperate with the police has had her compensation enhanced by the High Court.
MANY countries, the most serious crimes normally require proof that the offender acted with intent (i.e. was deliberate in her conduct or meant to bring about a circumstance or result; or knew that such a result was a virtually certain consequence of her conduct). But new research into video image evidence suggests that juries are more likely to believe that the accused acted deliberately if the images are slowed down. This could have a big impact on the use of mobile phone, CCTV, body camera or dashboard camera images in criminal cases requiring proof of intent on the part of the accused. Most worryingly, if the jurors are shown the slowed-down footage, it does not make things better if they are then shown the same footage at normal speed. As the article puts it:-
“…in a series of experiments, behavioural scientists showed participants footage of an attempted armed robbery in which a shop assistant was shot dead. Those who watched the footage slowed down were three times more likely to convict the accused than those who watched it in real time. If participants were shown a slowed-down version and a real-time version of the footage, it went some way to “[mitigating] the bias, but [did] not eliminate it”, said the researchers.”
Why is this happening? Again according to one of the researchers:-
“…the problem is that we are adding “perception information” to what we are being shown. He points to the theories of Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel prize-winning scientist who says we have two methods of decision-making: System 1, which is a fast, intuitive process; and System 2, which is slower and more deliberate. In the case of slowed-down video evidence, jurors feel that the criminal is using the more calculated decision-making process – even when the time taken shows this is unlikely.”
It’s not unreasonable to think that even in countries like Kenya without jury-trial, judges and magistrates may also be influenced by the same behavioural factors when viewing video evidence. Hopefully more research will follow to further explain the findings so that the impact on the future reception of such evidence can be better determined. Here is a link to the original research article.
ITALY is investigating the Turkish president’s son for money laundering as a result of allegations that he transferred suspect funds between Turkey and Italy.