Sherry F. Colb is Professor of Law and Charles Evans Hughes Scholar at Cornell University. Colb teaches courses in constitutional criminal procedure, evidence, and animal rights.
She has this interesting post, "Why Can’t Jurors Distinguish “Knowing” From “Reckless” Misconduct?”
Recently, The National Law Journal carried a story about an important gap that has emerged in jurors’ ability to understand the criminal law. According to the original study, described in the article “Sorting Guilty Minds” in the NYU Law Review, jurors have a difficult time distinguishing between two of the culpable mental states under which perpetrators commit crimes: “knowledge” and “recklessness.” In this column, I will offer an account of jurors’ difficulties that locates the problem in the ambiguity of the criminal law itself, rather than in the thinking processes of fact-finders.