Expert Witnesses

Criminologists in the Courtroom

Edited by Patrick R. Anderson & L. Thomas Winfree Jr.

Subjects: Criminology
Series: SUNY series in Critical Issues in Criminal Justice
Paperback : 9780887064494, 237 pages, July 1987
Hardcover : 9780887064487, 237 pages, July 1987

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents




I. Foundations of Expert Witnessing: Who Does What and Why?

1. Services of Experts in the Conduct of Judicial Inquiries
Clemens Herschel

2. Scholarship in the Courtroom: The Criminologist as Expert Witness
Patrick R. Anderson

3. The Social Scientist in Court
Marvin E. Wolfgang

4. Pragmatism and Advocacy in Criminal Justice Expert Witnessing
L. Thomas Winfree, Jr. , and Patrick R. Anderson

II. On Being an Expert Witness: Practicing Social Science in the Courtroom

5. Criminal Justice Scholars as Expert Witnesses: A Descriptive Analysis
L. Thomas Winfree, Jr. , and Patrick R. Anderson

6. Social Scientists as Expert Witnesses: Their Use, Misuse, and Sometimes Abuse
Sandra Evans Skovron and Joseph E. Scott

7. Police Expert Witnesses
James J. Fyfe

8. Sociologists as Expert Witnesses in Capital Cases: A Case Study
Michael L. Radelet

III. Expert Witnesses and Unresolved Issues: Views on the Future of Criminology in the Courtroom

9. All That Glitters Is Not Necessarily Gold: Negative Consequences of Expert Witnessing in Criminal Justice
L. Thomas Winfree, Jr.

10. The Needs of the Judiciary and Misapplication of Social Science Research: The Case of Female Guards in Men's Prisons
Geoffrey P. Alpert

11. The Role of the Expert on Prison Conditions: The Battle of Footnotes in Rhodes v. Chapman
Hans Toch

12. The Ethics of Testimony: Conflicting Views on the Role of the Criminologist as Expert Witness
Barton L. Ingraham



Cases and Codes

About the Authors



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.