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NCJ Number: 63963 Find in a Library
Title: EXPERT TESTIMONY IN COURT (FROM DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS, 1979 - SEE NCJ-63957)
Author(s): K JESSNITZER
Corporate Author: Internationale Studien
Bundesinstituts Fuer
Ostwissenschafliche und
West Germany (Former)
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 4
Format: Document
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: THE RELATIONSHIPS OF EXPERT WITNESSES TO JUDGES, PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS, AND POLICE AGENCIES ARE ANALYZED.
Abstract: THE EXPERT WITNESS HAS ADVANCED FROM HIS ORIGINAL WITNESS POSITION TO A QUASI-JUDGE POSITION. HOWEVER, JUDGES MUST REMAIN AWARE THAT THEY ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO SUPERVISE THE EXPERT, TO FOLLOW HIS REASONING CAREFULLY, AND TO ANALYZE IT CRITICALLY. ONLY IN EXCEPTIONAL CASES, SHOULD A JUDGE BASE HIS DECISION SOLELY ON EXPERT TESTIMONY. TO AVOID MISUNDERSTANDINGS, LEGAL EXPERTS MUST TAKE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEIR OWN MODES OF EXPRESSION AND THINKING AND THOSE PROPER TO SCIENCE INTO ACCOUNT. DURING THE INVESTIGATIVE PROCESS, THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF EXPERT WITNESSES IS THE PROSECUTOR'S DUTY. USUALLY, THE SAME EXPERTS ARE USED DURING INVESTIGATION AND TRIAL. DURING THE EARLY STAGES OF INVESTIGATION, IT IS SOMETIMES OF VITAL IMPORTANCE THAT POLICE AGENCIES CONSULT WITH AN EXPERT; HOWEVER, INDEPENDENT EXPERTS ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO MAKE REPORTS TO THE POLICE. INSTEAD, CRIMINAL AGENCIES HAVE THEIR OWN EXPERTS AT THEIR DISPOSAL, SOME OF WHOM ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO SUPPLY CRIMINOLOGICAL REPORTS TO INVESTIGATING OFFICERS, PROSECUTORS, AND COURTS. FOR INSTANCE, THE FEDERAL INVESTIGATION BUREAU OF WEST GERMANY AND SOME STATE AGENCIES FURNISH ON REQUEST TWO TYPES OF EXPERT REPORTS: (1) AN OFFICIAL REPORT WHICH REPRESENTS THE OPINION OF THE ENTIRE AGENCY AND WHICH CAN BE READ IN COURT WITHOUT THE NEED TO EXAMINE A PARTICULAR EXPERT OR (2) THE TESTIMONY OF A PARTICULAR EXPERT WHO MUST THEN APPEAR IN COURT IN PERSON. THE AGENCY REQUESTING THE REPORT AND THE AGENCY SUPPLYING IT SHOULD STATE CLEARLY WHAT TYPE OF TESTIMONY IS AT ISSUE. THE ARTICLE CONTAINS FOOTNOTES. --IN GERMAN. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation; Criminal investigation units; Expert witnesses; Germany; Judges; Police agencies; Prosecutors; Testimony
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63963

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