Expert Psychological Testimony for the Courts

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Mark Costanzo, Daniel A. Krauss, Kathy Pezdek
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007 - Law - 321 pages
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During the past two decades, the frequency and range of expert testimony by psychologists have increased dramatically. Courts now routinely hear expert testimony from clinical, cognitive, developmental, and social psychologists. Expert Psychological Testimony for the Courts provides a comprehensive, research-based analysis of the content, ethics, and impact of expert testimony. This book features leading scholars who have contributed to the scientific foundation for expert testimony and who have also served as expert witnesses.
The opening chapter explores issues surrounding the admissibility of expert testimony, and the closing chapter explores the ethics and limits of psychological testimony. Each of the intervening chapters focuses on a different area of expert testimony: forensic identification, police interrogations and false confessions, eyewitness identification, sexual harassment, mitigation in capital cases, the insanity defense, battered women, future dangerousness, and child custody. These chapters describe the typical content of expert testimony in a particular area, evaluate the scientific foundation for testimony, examine how jurors respond to expert testimony, and suggest ways in which legal standards or procedures might be modified in light of psychological research.
This groundbreaking book should be on the shelf of every social scientist interested in the legal system and every trial attorney who is likely to retain a psychologist as an expert witness. It can also serve as a text for advanced courses in psychology, legal studies, criminal justice, law, and sociology.

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About the author (2007)

Mark Costanzo is Professor of Psychology and co-director of the Center for Applied Psychological Research at Claremont McKenna College. He has published research on a variety of law-related topics including jury decision-making, sexual harassment, attorney argumentation, alternative dispute resolution, and the death penalty. He is author of JUST REVENGE: COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE DEATH PENALTY (St. Martin's Press,1997) and co-editor (with Stuart Oskamp) of VIOLENCE AND THE LAW (Sage Publications, 1994). Professor Costanzo has served as an expert witness and has appeared on national radio and television programs to discuss the applications of psychological science to the legal system. He serves on the editorial board of Law and Human Behavior and is co-organizer of the annual Claremont Symposium on Applied Psychology.

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