Criminologists in the Courtroom
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For the first time a book documents the judicial system's new dependence on social science testimony, especially that rendered by sociologists and criminologists. In Expert Witnesses contributors show that unlike traditional forensics testimony, the intrusion of social science data into judicial decision-making has relatively recent origins. It details the uses and abuses of social science experts, and the ethical and pragmatic concerns raised by their testimony. This timely collection will appeal to a diverse audience, including attorneys, judges, and students of judicial proceedings.
Included in this volume are historical examinations of the expert witnessing phenomenon, the legal, social, and ethical debates regarding the appropriate role of such witnesses, and anecdotal descriptions by eminent social science experts. The authors address such pragmatic issues as an attorney's perspective on finding the most appropriate expert or formulating the "best" questions to ask in court, and an expert's perspective on getting aid or terminating a nonworking attorney-expert relationship.
Patrick R. Anderson is Professor of Criminology at Florida Southern College. L. Thomas Winfree, Jr. is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at New Mexico State University.