Psychology Forensic Discussion

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In criminal cases, unlike civil cases, courts have generally been unwilling to exclude expert proof on the ground that it has not been sufficiently validated. When the evidence is admitted it is then labeled “reliable” because, according to Daubert, expert testimony must be reliable in order to be deemed admissible. That should not, however, mean that no further analysis of the evidence is required.

Admissibility and sufficiency determinations rest on more than satisfaction of a reliability component; they require careful attention to what the evidence proves and how the trier of fact will use it. Specifically, each identification technique (fingerprinting, handwriting, hair analysis, and DNA evidence) raises different issues in this respect, even though the underlying inference in each instance is the same—that a match makes it more probable that the accused is the perpetrator.

Choose one technique and explain how it may be misleading by expert testimony. Give examples to support your explanation.


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