Expert Witnesses in Child Abuse Cases: What Can and Should Be Said in Court
Psychologists have been increasingly called on to testify in child abuse cases. The rough-and-tumble world of courtroom machinations, however, has left many wondering how they can protect themselves and their science from manipulation and misuse by the court system. In this book, eminent lawyers, psychologists, and social workers discuss the thornier aspects of testimony and provide recommendations on the proper role of the expert witness. In each chapter, one or more current problem areas associated with expert testimony in cases of child abuse are described.
The first of the book's four sections is an overview, comparing the uses of expert testimony both here and abroad as well as the ethical standards to which psychologists serving as experts should adhere. The second section explores the actual experience of providing expert testimony, from a personal glimpse into an author's experience to professional dos and don'ts. The kinds of evidence most often offered in cases of suspected child abuse, the admissibility of such evidence, and the effects of this information on juror decisions are covered in the third section. In the fourth section, commentaries synthesize the conclusions of these chapters and help to move the field toward a consensus of what constitutes ethical testimony.
This softcover edition is a re-release of the 1998 hardcover edition.