'This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.' http://www.apa.org/journals/amp/South African courts have recently accepted social psychological phenomena as extenuating factors in murder trials. In one important case, eight railway workers were convicted of murdering four strike-breakers during an industrial dispute; the court accepted conformity, obedience, group polarization, deindividuation, bystander apathy, and other well-established psychological phenomena as extenuating factors for four of the eight defendants but sentenced the others to death. In a second trial, death sentences on five defendants for the “necklace” killing of a young woman were reduced to 20 months’ imprisonment in the light of similar social psychological evidence. Practical and ethical issues arising from expert psychological testimony are discussed
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