From The Washington Post:
Only Draymond Green will ever know the truth about what happened when he took that shot in Game 3 of Golden State’s Western Conference series in May. Green’s leg flew up and collided with Steven Adams’s groin. The Oklahoma City player collapsed on the floor in obvious agony.
After the game, Green said the kick was unintentional. “I followed through on a shot,” he said. “I’m not trying to kick somebody in the men’s section. I’m sure he wants to have kids one day. I’m not trying to end that on the basketball court. That don’t make sense.” The NBA fined Green but let him play the next game.
Commentators and basketball fans around the country have had plenty of opportunities to debate whether the league made the right call. Yet the fact that they were able to see the kick in slow motion might have introduced a subtle bias into how they viewed Green’s actions, new research suggests.
The research, published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that people are more likely to view an action as intentional if they see the incident in slow motion.
It is easy to laugh at Adams’s bad luck, but the new study could have far more serious implications. Juries in criminal cases often must decide whether the defendant acted intentionally, a determination that affects the sentence the court will impose.
The researchers write about the case of John Lewis, who shot and killed a Philadelphia police officer during a robbery in 2007. During the trial, a jury reviewed surveillance footage of the incident to determine whether the murder was premeditated. The jury also saw the tape in slow motion.
If the jury decided the murder was not premeditated, Lewis’s punishment would be life in prison. If they decided it was not, Lewis could be executed by lethal injection.
The jury concluded that Lewis’s actions were premeditated. His …