Jeopardy in the Courtroom - A Scientific Analysis
of Children's Testimony by Stephen J. Ceci and Maggie Bruck,
American Psychological Association, 1995.
- PREFACE ....in analyzing the challenges in evaluating a child's testimony,
the authors looked at seven cases. 'Little Rascals' was one of them.
- EXCERPT..... on the effects of repeated questioning in interviewing the
children at Little Rascals
- EXCERPT..... on the use of anatomically detailed dolls in interviewing
Little Rascals children about possible sexual abuse
- EXCERPT.....on the technique in the Little Rascals case of using suggestive
books to help the child talk about difficult things and make disclosures
"The Little Rascals Day Care Center Case: The Ingredients of Two
Successful Prosecutions" by Nancy Lamb, Associate Attorney General, North
Carolina Department of Justice, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, Vol. 3(2)
Lamb was one of the three prosecutors in the Little Rascals case.
"New Era of Skepticism" by John B. Myers, Psychology, Public Policy
and Law, June 1995
Myers counters those writers in the psychological literature (such as Ceci and
Bruck) who, he says, portray children in an unnecessarily negative light. He
also examines how the popular media is increasingly skeptical of child
witnesses. Lastly, Meyers writes that the 1994 decision in State v.
Michaels is likely to exaggerate doubts about children's memory and
"Child Witnesses In Court: A Growing Dilemma"
by Stephen J. Ceci, Ph.D. and Eduardus de Bruyn, M.A. CHILDREN
TODAY, 1993, Volume 22, No.1.
The authors focus on two studies they conducted: 1) the effect of prolonged
erroneous suggestion on young children's recollections and 2) the influence of
interviewers' biases on children's reports. Although definitive conclusions
on children's testimonial competence are still lacking, Ceci and Bruyn say one
thing is clear: children are neither as suggestible and coachable as some
pro-defense advocates have alleged, nor are they as resistant to suggestions
about their own bodies as some pro-prosescution advocates have claimed.