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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 52027 Find in a Library
Title: ADMISSIBILITY OF HYPNOTIC STATEMENTS - IS THE LAW OF EVIDENCE SUSCEPTIBLE?
Journal: OHIO STATE LAW JOURNAL  Volume:38  Issue:3  Dated:(1977)  Pages:567-616
Author(s): R S SPECTOR; T E FOSTER
Corporate Author: Ohio State University
1800 Cannon Drive
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 47
Sponsoring Agency: Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AFTER EXAMINING THE INCREASING USE OF HYPNOSIS AS AN ACCEPTABLE MEDICAL TECHNIQUE FOR TREATMENT OF VARIOUS FORMS OF AMNESIA, THE ADMISSIBILITY OF HYPNO-INDUCED STATEMENTS AS EVIDENCE IS EXAMINED.
Abstract: THE FIRST PORTION OF THIS ARTICLE TRACES HYPNOSIS FROM ITS 'SIDESHOW' BEGINNINGS TO ITS ACCEPTED STANDING IN THE MEDICAL PROFESSION TODAY. BOTH POLICE INVESTIGATORS AND PRIVATE ATTORNEYS HAVE USED HYPNOSIS EFFECTIVELY TO STIMULATE THE MEMORIES OF WITNESSES. TWO AUTO ACCIDENT CASES IN WHICH HEAD INJURIES RESULTED IN TEMPORARY AMNESIA ARE DESCRIBED. HYPNOSIS WAS USED ALSO IN A FAMOUS CASE INVOLVING THE KIDNAPPING OF A BUSLOAD OF SCHOOL CHILDREN IN CALIFORNIA; UNDER HYPNOSIS THE BUS DRIVER WAS ABLE TO REMEMBER ALL BUT ONE DIGIT OF THE LICENSE NUMBER OF THE KIDNAPPERS' CAR. COURTS GENERALLY REFUSE TO ALLOW STATEMENTS MADE UNDER HYPNOSIS TO BE INTRODUCED AS EVIDENCE. REASONS FOR THIS ARE DETAILED, AND A NUMBER OF JUDICIAL DECISIONS ON THE MATTER ARE CITED. THE USE OF HYPNOSIS TO STIMULATE THE RECOLLECTION OF WITNESSES IS COMPARED TO COMMONLY ACCEPTED TECHNIQUES SUCH AS SHOWING WITNESSES PIECES OF EVIDENCE AND ASKING THEM LEADING QUESTIONS. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT HYPNOSIS POSES NO GREATER PROBLEMS IN THE AREA OF SUGGESTIBILITY THAN DO THESE OTHER TECHNIQUES. IT IS POINTED OUT ALSO THAT SOME COURTS REFUSE TO INTRODUCE STATEMENTS MADE UNDER HYPNOSIS BECAUSE JURORS MIGHT ALLOW THEM MORE CREDIBILITY THAN THEY DESERVE. FEDERAL RULE OF EVIDENCE 803 (4) ALLOWS THE INTRODUCTION OF SUCH STATEMENTS UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS. THE LIKELIHOOD THAT THIS PRACTICE WILL SPREAD IS CONSIDERED, ALONG WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL RAMIFICATIONS OF REFUSAL TO ADMIT SUCH TESTIMONY. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE INTRODUCTION OF CERTAIN HYPNO-INDUCED STATEMENTS UNDER CERTAIN SAFEGUARDS WILL BECOME ACCEPTED COURT PROCEDURE. THERE ARE 208 FOOTNOTES CONTAINING CASE CITATIONS AND OTHER REFERENCES. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation; Exclusionary rule; Forensic medicine; Judicial decisions; Rules of evidence; Testimony; Witnesses
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52027

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