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ISPLA News: Expert Testimony in Criminal & Juvenile Trials

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  • Peter Psarouthakis
    Permission is granted to re-post ABA Resolution 101C ADOPTED AS REVISED Urges Judges Consideration Presenting Expert Testimony to Jurors RESOLVED, That the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 14, 2012
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      Permission is granted to re-post



      ABA Resolution 101C ADOPTED AS REVISED


      Urges Judges' Consideration Presenting Expert Testimony to Jurors


      RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges judges and lawyers to
      consider the following factors in determining the manner in which expert
      testimony should be presented to a jury and in instructing the jury in its
      evaluation of expert scientific testimony in criminal and delinquency
      proceedings:



      1. Whether experts can identify and explain the theoretical and
      factual basis for any opinion given in their testimony and the reasoning
      upon which the opinion is based.

      2. Whether experts use clear and consistent terminology in
      presenting their opinions.

      3. Whether experts present their testimony in a manner that
      accurately and fairly conveys the significance of their conclusions,
      including any relevant limitations of the methodology used.

      4. Whether experts explain the reliability of evidence and fairly
      address problems with evidence including relevant evidence of laboratory
      error, contamination, or sample mishandling.

      5. Whether expert testimony of individuality or uniqueness is based
      on valid scientific research.

      6. Whether the court should prohibit the parties from tendering
      witnesses as experts and should refrain from declaring witnesses to be
      experts in the presence of the jury.

      7. Whether to include in jury instructions additional specific
      factors that might be especially important to a jury's ability to fairly
      assess the reliability of and weight to be given expert testimony on

      particular issues in the case.



      The resolution is derived from a report which in part states:



      "Many of the reported problems with forensic science evidence have resulted
      from the failures of trial attorneys to investigate thoroughly forensic
      science evidence, the misunderstandings of trial attorneys concerning the
      nature of that evidence and misstatements by trial attorneys concerning the
      weight to be attributed to that evidence. Until an elevation in the
      knowledge base of trial attorneys is achieved, the adversarial system will
      continue to falter with respect to the proper presentation of forensic
      science evidence."



      Below is a direct link to the 17-page ABA reference material which criminal
      defense investigators should consider reviewing. Among other things, it
      comments on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Report on forensic
      science, along with cases such as Daubert:




      <http://www.abanow.org/wordpress/wp-content/files_flutter/1326403870_31_1_1_
      9_resolution_summary.doc>
      http://www.abanow.org/wordpress/wp-content/files_flutter/1326403870_31_1_1_9
      _resolution_summary.doc



      Bruce Hulme

      ISPLA Director of Government Affairs

      www.ISPLA.org <http://www.ispla.org/>



      Resource to Government, Media, and Investigative and Security Professionals




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