Barring ultimate issue testimony
This research focuses on one of the major changes wrought by the Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984: the exclusion of expert mental health testimony on the “ultimate issue,” that is, testimony specifically addressing the expert's opinion that the defendant is sane or insane. Subjects in this research were presented with 1 of 10 variants of an insanity case in which experts testified for the defense, prosecution, both, or neither. The testimony was at one of three levels: diagnostic only, penultimate issue, or ultimate issue. Results showed that level of testimony had no effect on the verdict pattern. There was evidence to suggest that this effect may occur because jurors infer, and/or mistakenly recall, higher levels of expert testimony than was actually presented to them. In addition, general and specific constructs (Finkel & Handel, 1989) that predict verdict yieldedR 2 values from .500 to .668 and were not significantly affected by the level of expert testimony. Implications of these findings are discussed.
- ABA Criminal justice mental health standards. American Bar Association, Washington, DC
- Statement on the insanity defense. American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC
- Ethical standards for psychologists. American Psychologist 45: pp. 390-395
- Bazelon, D. L. (1988) Questioning authority: Justice and criminal law. Knopf, New York
- Bonnie, R., Slobogin, C. (1980) The role of mental health professionals in the criminal process: The case for informed speculation. Virginia Law Review 66: pp. 427-522
- Ciccone, J. R., Clements, C. (1987) The insanity defense: Asking and answering the ultimate question. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law 15: pp. 329-338
- Cohen, D. (1988) Punishing the insane: Restriction of expert psychiatric testimony by federal rule of evidence 704(B). University of Florida Law Review 10: pp. 541-562
- The insanity defense. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
- Finkel, N. J. (1982, August). Insanity defenses: Jurors' assessments of mental disease, responsibility, and culpability. Paper presented at the 90th annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
- Finkel, N. J. (1988) Insanity on trial. Plenum Press, New York
- Finkel, N. J. (1989) The Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984: Much ado about nothing. Behavioral Sciences and the Law 7: pp. 403-419
- Finkel, N. J. (1990) De facto departures from insanity instructions: Toward the remaking of common law. Law and Human Behavior 14: pp. 105-122
- Finkel, N. J., Duff, K. B. (1989) The insanity defense: Giving jurors a third option. Forensic Reports 2: pp. 235-263
- Finkel, N. J., & Handel, S. F. (1986, August). “Insanity,” as jurors “see” it. Paper presented at the 94th annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
- Finkel, N. J., Handel, S. F. (1988) Jurors and insanity: Do test instructions instruct?. Forensic Reports 1: pp. 65-79
- Finkel, N. J., Handel, S. F. (1989) How jurors construe “insanity.”. Law and Human Behavior 13: pp. 41-59
- Finkel, N. J., Shaw, R., Bercaw, S., Koch, J. (1985) Insanity defenses: From the jurors' perspective. Law and Psychology Review 9: pp. 77-92
- Fulero, S., Penrod, S. (1990) Attorney jury selection folklore: What do they think and how can psychologists help?. Forensic Reports 3: pp. 233-260
- Goldstein, R. L. (1989) The psychiatrist's guide to right and wrong: Part IV: The insanity defense and the ultimate issue rule. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law 17: pp. 269-281
- Grisso, T. (1986) Evaluating competencies: Forensic assessments and instruments. Plenum, New York
- Morse, S. (1978) Crazy behavior, morals, and science: An analysis of mental health law. Southern California Law Review 51: pp. 527-654
- Ogloff, J. (1990). Comparison of the impact of varying insanity defense standards in jury decision making. Paper presented at the 98th annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston, MA.
- Olsen-Fulero, L., Fulero, S., & Wulff, K. (1989, August). Who did what to whom? Modeling rape jurors' cognitive processes. Paper presented at the 97th annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, New Orleans, LA.
- Pennington, N., Hastie, R. (1990) Practical implications of psychological research on juror and jury decision making. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 16: pp. 90-102
- Saks, M., & Baron, C. H. (1980).The Use/nonuse/misuse of applied social research in the courts. Cambridge, MA: Abt.
- Slater, D., Hans, V. (1984) Public opinion of forensic psychiatry following the Hinckley verdict. American Journal of Psychiatry 141: pp. 675-679
- Slobogin, D. (1989) The “ultimate issue” issue. Behavioral Sciences and the Law 7: pp. 259-266
- Stalans, L. J., Diamond, S. S. (1990) Formation and change in lay evaluations of criminal sentencing: Misperception and discontent. Law and Human Behavior 14: pp. 199-214
- Insanity defense in federal courts. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
- Reform of the federal insanity defense. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
- Limiting the insanity defense. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
- United States v. Torniero, 735 F. 2d 725 (2d Cir. 1984).
- Visher, C. A. (1987) Juror decision making: The importance of evidence. Law and Human Behavior 11: pp. 1-17
- Weiner, B., Parry, J. Mental disability and the criminal law. In: Brakel, S., Weiner, B. eds. (1985) The mentally disabled and the criminal law. American Bar Foundation, Chicago, IL
- Barring ultimate issue testimony
Law and Human Behavior
Volume 15, Issue 5 , pp 495-507
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links