Monday, December 27, 2010

Chief Justice John Marshall a Behavioral Realist in 1807

Why do your personal prejudices constitute a just cause of challenge? Solely because the individual who is under their influence is presumed to have bias on his mind which will prevent impartial decision of a case according to testimony. He may declare that notwithstanding these prejudices, he is determined to listen to the evidence and be governed by it: but the law will not trust him... Such a person may believe that he will be regulated by testimony, but the law suspects him, and certainly not without reason. He will listen with more favor to the testimony which confirms, than to that which would change his opinion; it is not to be expected that he will weigh evidence or argument as fairly as a man whose judgment is not made up in the case.

U.S. v. Burr, 25 Fed.Cas. 49, 50 (1807) (Case No. 14, 692g)

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