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Psychiatric Expert Testimony: Emerging Applications is for practitioners who need to be at the cutting edge of admissibility in court. The book avoids standard applications, such as the insanity defense and specific capacity assessments, in favor of those that may be controversial or require evidentiary hearings. It is divided into two broad areas: human development and its deviations; and science and technology. In each chapter, the reader will find a discussion of the science behind the testimony and, where applicable, relevant case law.
In the human development area, there are discussions of the genesis of moral thinking, how early trauma can affect behavior, how to approach the child witness, and how Autism Spectrum Disorder is regarded in criminal justice. In the technology area, there are diverse discussions, including sleep disorders, fMRI lie detection, the uses of neuroimaging, traumatic encephalopathy, and designer drugs. Dr. Weiss and Dr. Watson provide a framework for understanding why and how the justice system needs expert testimony and the instances where there is resistance to it.
Unlike other books, which either treat the subject generally or in a prescriptive manner, Psychiatric Expert Testimony: Emerging Applications provides a foundation for practitioners to use available science and then to fashion their own work product. In this way, the expert is not held to a formula or format. By using the content of Emerging Applications, the practitioner will be better able to fashion expert reports and field questions during evidentiary hearings.