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