The Expert as Educator: Enhancing the Rationality of Verdicts in Child Sex Abuse Prosecutions

Ronald J Allen*, Joseph S. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors discuss the role of expert witnesses in the context of conventional understandings of trials at common law. Controversies surrounding the expert's role turn primarily on whether the expert should educate fact finders, as lay witnesses are required to do, or instead should provide conclusions to which the fact finder simply defers. The authors observe that the likelihood of irrational verdicts increases the more fact finders defer to experts and that experts become advocates often enough to make deference fertile ground for abuse. They conclude that the expert who educates better serves the justice system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-338
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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