Reaction to Unjust Conviction

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Reactionto Unjust Conviction

Reactionto Unjust Conviction

Inancient America, the American jurisprudence would wrongfully convictsuspects due to flaws emanating from witnesses and the manner inwhich confessions were sought. In 1673, when the Americanjurisprudence included the practice of apparitions and daydreams asevidence in prosecutions, Thomas Cornell was indicted, convicted anddangled for purportedly killing his mother. The use of spectralevidence in Cornell’s conviction was a clear unjustified way toincriminate the suspect because it was hard to establish theauthenticity of any dream. Despite the advancements in science,dreams remain to be a puzzle in the contemporary world. Thepsychological comprehension of the unconscious could explaindifferently on why some dreams happen during certain periods insomeone’s life.

Freudasserts that dreams are “a royal road to the unconscious,”(McLeod,2013).Therefore, they require no exertion in such a critical context in acourt of law. Freud’s model convinces that dreams are a wishfulfillment, where satisfaction does not translate to seekingpleasure because others could experience dreams that wish forpunishment. Therefore, it was difficult to explain a dream to theextent of being the foundation of judgment. The conviction of Cornelllacked a clear understanding of dreams, and instead, the emphasis wasput on the coincidence of the dreams with the murder of his mother(Morewedge, 2012). To a broader perspective, if the impendingscenarios did the translation of dreams, the same dream could alsointerpret to underscoring the real scenario of incriminating theinnocent suspect (McLeod, 2013).

BesidesFreudian theory, some people believe that hallucinations have certainspecific meanings. For instance, some individuals think that when onedreams about oranges, it means good health to the person. Othersconsider dreams as nothing more than pictures that result from brainactivities as it “housecleans” itself. However, in psychology,dreams have some connections with the personal life of someone(Julia, 2013). While not all dreams may be true reflections, some maybe as a result of life experiences or mental preparations toencounter something. The fact that they are unpredictable, theycredit their weakness in their application to real life. Forinstance, a drunken person may experience hallucinations involving aroad accident. The imagination could relate to the conscious feelingof being at risk of causing an accident because of drunk driving.Therefore, there exists a subtle relationship between the consciousand unconscious mind.

InFreud’s topographical model of the mind, the mind has threestructures: the conscious mind on the surface, the preconscious,which composes all the things that can be retrieved from the memory.The third region is the unconscious mind that serves as a storehouseof embryonic impulse wishes. Therefore, dreams are best classified inthe unconscious mind that some may be too frightening for theconscious mind to respond (Kitayama, 2017). Such dreams are lockedaway in the unconscious part of the mind. Therefore, what remains tobe in the conscious mind has no relationship to the conscious part ofthe mind. The application of dreams in Cornell’s case could,therefore, imply that unconscious impulses were forced to integrateinto the conscious mind, a process that is not applicable accordingto Freud’s theory (McLeod, 2013).

Inconclusion, the application of dreams as spectral evidence to convictsuspects is unjustified. Dreams are only wishes where some may cometo pass while others are merely dismissed as illusions. As anunconscious way of expression, imaginations can relate to consciousmind’s activities.


Kitayama,S. (2017). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudesand social cognition.

McLeod,S. (2013). Sigmund Freud. Retrieved March 19, 2017, from

Morewedge,C. K. (2012). When dreaming is believing: The interpretation ofdreams.&nbspJournalof Personality and Social Psychology,96(2),249-264. doi:10.1037/a0013264

Turner,J. (2013).&nbspHumanPsychology as Seen Through the Dream&nbsp(Vol.34). Routledge.