A column by Adam Cohen from today's New York Times:
In 1963, Stanley Milgram, an assistant professor of psychology at Yale, published his infamous experiment on obedience to authority. Its conclusion was that most ordinary people were willing to administer what they believed to be painful, even dangerous, electric shocks to innocent people if a man in a white lab coat told them to.
Now, 45 years later, that experiment has been repeated by Prof Jerry Burger of Santa Clara University--with the same results. Read the entire article at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/29/opinion/29mon3.html?_r=1&ref=opinion.
Cohen concludes his column saying:
An instructor at West Point contacted Professor Burger to say that she was teaching her students about his findings. She had the right idea — and the right audience. The findings of these two experiments should be part of the basic training for soldiers, police officers, jailers and anyone else whose position gives them the power to inflict abuse on others.
Let's add to that list jurors, who all too often unquestioningly accept what authorities say despite the tragic consequences a wrongful conviction brings.