skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 114253 Find in a Library
Title: Admissibility of Expert Psychological Testimony in Cases Involving the Sexual Misuse of a Child
Journal: University of Miami Law Review  Volume:42  Issue:4-5  Dated:special issue (March-May 1988)  Pages:1033-1072
Author(s): D Lorenzen
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 40
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The testimony of psychological experts may be useful in cases involving child sexual abuse, not only in providing evidence of psychological injury or normative data, but also in helping preserve the testimony of a child victim whose testimony may be unavailable at the time of the trial.
Abstract: A child's memory is known to degenerate more rapidly than the memory of an adult. Thus, the child's testimony is perishable. A new application of expert witness testimony would be to elicit and preserve the testimony of children to compensate for this limitation on their ability to testify competently. Such expert testimony would maximize the access of the trier of fact to reliable information without usurping its role. Although this expert testimony would enhance the likelihood of obtaining a conviction in a criminal prosecution, it does not unfairly prejudice the accused person. The increased likelihood of conviction may also encourage more offenders to volunteer to take part in treatment as an alternative to incarceration, thereby reducing society's overall costs of managing sexual offenders. 226 references.
Main Term(s): Psychologists role in criminal justice
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Expert witnesses; Rules of evidence
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.