Document Detail

False confessions, expert testimony, and admissibility.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20542936     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The confession of a criminal defendant serves as a prosecutor's most compelling piece of evidence during trial. Courts must preserve a defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial while upholding the judicial interests of presenting competent and reliable evidence to the jury. When a defendant seeks to challenge the validity of that confession through expert testimony, the prosecution often contests the admissibility of the expert's opinion. Depending on the content and methodology of the expert's opinion, testimony addressing the phenomenon of false confessions may or may not be admissible. This article outlines the scientific and epistemological bases of expert testimony on false confession, notes the obstacles facing its admissibility, and provides guidance to the expert in formulating opinions that will reach the judge or jury. We review the 2006 New Jersey Superior Court decision in State of New Jersey v. George King to illustrate what is involved in the admissibility of false-confession testimony and use the case as a starting point in developing a best-practice approach to working in this area.
Clarence Watson; Kenneth J Weiss; Claire Pouncey
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law     Volume:  38     ISSN:  1093-6793     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Am. Acad. Psychiatry Law     Publication Date:  2010  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-06-14     Completed Date:  2010-08-20     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9708963     Medline TA:  J Am Acad Psychiatry Law     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  174-86     Citation Subset:  IM    
Two Bala Plaza, Suite 300, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnosis,  psychology
Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnosis,  psychology
Defense Mechanisms
Expert Testimony / legislation & jurisprudence*
Homicide / legislation & jurisprudence*,  psychology
Insanity Defense
Personality Disorders / diagnosis,  psychology
Prisoners / legislation & jurisprudence*,  psychology
Truth Disclosure*
United States
Comment In:
J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2010;38(2):187-94   [PMID:  20542937 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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