It is important to understand the impact an expert testimony may have in the ultimate decision made by a court.

It is important to understand the impact an expert testimony may have in the ultimate decision made by a court. In addition, it is helpful for practitioners of forensic psychology to be able to read and understand legal cases.

Tasks:

Click here to review the case Commonwealth of Virginia v. Allen (2005).

The case describes an appellate legal opinion or court decision involving expert witness testimony. When a case is appealed, it goes to an appellate or to a higher court. The appellate court then reviews the findings of the lower court, which in this case was the trial court. The appellate court offered the following two opinions:

  • The first opinion (Commonwealth of Virginia v. Allen, 2005, pp. 1–24) is the majority opinion and is the one that counts.
  • The second opinion (Commonwealth of Virginia v. Allen, 2005, pp. 24–31) is an opinion filed by a minority of judges who concurred (agreed) in part and dissented (disagreed) in part with the majority of the judges who ruled.

After reading the appellate legal opinion, write a 2- to 3-page paper addressing the following:

  • Discuss whether either of the expert witnesses in this case acted unethically. Support your opinion with the relevant APA or specialty ethical guidelines.
  • Indicate whether you agree with the majority decision or the minority concurring or dissenting opinion. Explain why.

The paper should be in APA style.

Reference:

Commonwealth of Virginia v. Allen, 609 S.E.2d 4 (Va. 2005).

 

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