Co-hosted and presented with the Justinian Society of Philadelphia
The objective of the CLE is to examine how clients can be wrongfully subjected to discrimination. In this program, featured speaker, Emilie L. Lucchesi, Ph.D., introduces how stereotypes are constructed and communicated, and uses two case studies to demonstrate the profound impact such bias has on juries.
- Considering the current cultural climate and how clients are subject to jury bias.
- Explanation of how stereotypes are constructed and communicated.
- In-depth discussion as to how stereotypes are communicated in the news media and why
people rely cognitively on such prefabricated ideas and images. Stereotypes can be based in bias but they are also mental shortcuts in which people unconsciously rely.
In 1923, Sabella Nitti was an immigrant from Bari arrested for the murder of her missing husband. The Chicago lawmen pursued her despite a lack of evidence, motive, or corpus delicti.
This case study will examine how a team of six Italian American attorneys picked up the case on appeal. Defense attorney Helen Cirese actively worked to change the foreign woman's appearance and mannerisms. In doing so, she gauged how her client created cognitive dissonance within the jury and sought to remove the unfamiliarity.
Modern challenges and hypothetical
This section examines how modern media normalizes and confirms stereotypes that are harmful to clients.
Case study: Michael Waithe, native of Barbados, wrongly convicted by a jury in 1987 for burglary. There was no evidence linking him to the crime. Victim later admitted she named him as one of the suspects as revenge. He served 18 months in prison. In 2011, his immigration troubles began when he attempted to return from a wedding in Barbados.
Modern solutionsVoir dire: Gauging the media affirmations for stereotypes.Analyzing your client's cognitive dissonance factor and strategizing accordingly.Tools for responding to fear appeals by the prosecution.
Attendees will have a firm understanding of how stereotypes are communicated and leave with strategies for prepping the client; conducting voir dire; and responding to prosecutors’ fear appeals.