Process of and Guidelines for Testifying

Psychology in the Courts

Discussion – Week 9

COLLAPSE

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Process of and Guidelines for Testifying The majority of testimony delivered in courts by forensic psychology professionals is related to psychological evaluation data. Ultimately, any testimony that forensic psychology professionals give will be driven by the procedures they choose to employ from the beginning of the case, from the time the referral question is received and subpoena issued, to the testimony itself. To help prepare for testifying, it is necessary to understand the process of and guidelines for providing expert testimony. Planning and reviewing testimony in advance is important to testifying effectively and to coming across as reliable and believable. To prepare for this Discussion:

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· Review the assigned pages of Chapter 18 in your course text Psychological Evaluations for the Courts. Focus on the process and guidelines for preparing and delivering expert testimony.

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· Review Chapter 8 in your course text Psychological Evaluations for the Courts. Reflect on the specific issues that must be addressed when preparing to provide expert testimony related to the mental health of a defendant.

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· Select a case to research (past or present) where the mental health of the defendant was the issue at hand. The case may be one with which you are familiar, one from history or popular culture, or one you find by using the Walden library.

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· Review the assigned chapters in your course text Coping With Cross-Examination and Other Pathways to Effective Testimony. Think about the steps you would take and considerations you would make when preparing to testify about the case you selected.

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· Review the course media, “Chapter 1,” and consider how to prepare for testimony. Think about the tactics used by opposing counsel to discredit expert and eye witnesses.

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· Review the course media, “Chapter 2,” and focus on techniques for preparing for testimony.

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· Think about how you would apply what you learned about the process of and guidelines for testifying to prepare for the case you researched. Consider the specific steps you would take.

With these thoughts in mind: Post by Day 4 a brief description of the case that you selected and the psychological issue(s) involved. Then explain how you would prepare to testify for the case. Refer to the process of and guidelines for testifying as you explain the steps you would take, from the time you receive the subpoena through the time you are on the stand. Be specific as you use aspects from the case you selected to illustrate the process you would follow to offer expert testimony. Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

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