The Yale Law Journal

Roseanna Sommers


Commonsense Consent

Roseanna Sommers

How do ordinary people understand the concept of consent? This Article documents that laypersons, unlike most legal theorists, believe consent is compatible with fraud. It uses this discovery to revisit the so-called “riddle of rape-by-deception” and to interrogate the relationship between public at…


The Voluntariness of Voluntary Consent: Consent Searches and the Psychology of Compliance

Roseanna Sommers & Vanessa K. Bohns

The Fourth Amendment allows police to perform warrantless searches of individuals if they give consent to be searched and that consent is voluntary. Based on original laboratory research, this Essay posits that fact-finders assessing voluntariness underappreciate the extent to which suspects feel pr…


Will Putting Cameras on Police Reduce Polarization?

Roseanna Sommers

In the wake of national outrage and polarization over several high-profile police shootings of unarmed citizens, reformers have called for police officers to wear body cameras. This Note argues that, despite the seeming objectivity of the camera, video footage remains susceptible…


The Psychology of Punishment and the Puzzle of Why Tortfeasor Death Defeats Liability for Punitive Damages

Roseanna Sommers

Nearly every jurisdiction that allows for the recovery of noncompensatory punitive damages conceives of them as serving two main purposes: (1) punishing outrageous conduct and (2) deterring its future occurrence.1 The deterrent function of punitive damages operates both to deter the defenda…