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General Issues Regarding Psychiatric Testimony

  • Seymour L. Halleck
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)

Abstract

In resolving some types of legal conflicts the court may seek information as to the mental status of one or more of the litigants. Often this information will have a critical influence on the court’s decision. The legal system uses the testimony and observations of ordinary persons in determining certain aspects of a litigant’s mental status such as his motivation. However, the presence of most forms of mental impairment is usually determined with the assistance of experts. The psychiatrist is commonly asked to evaluate litigants and testify as to their mental status. He can provide facts (such as the existence of abnormal laboratory tests) that would not otherwise be available to the court. He can also provide professional opinions as to the litigant’s emotional status. These will be respected by the court and will be given more weight than the testimony of ordinary persons.

Keywords

Criminal Justice Legal Issue Expert Witness Defense Attorney Forensic Psychiatry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Reference

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    J. Robitscher and R. Williams, “Should Psychiatrists Get Out of the Courtroom?” Psychology Today, December 1977. R. Leifer, In the Name of Mental Health ( New York: Science House, 1966 ).Google Scholar
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    S. L. Halleck, The Politics of Therapy (New York: Science House, 1971 ).Google Scholar
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    P. E. Dietz, “Forensic and Non-Forensic Psychiatrists: An Empirical Comparison,” Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 6, no. 1 (1978): 13–22.PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    G. L. Usdin, “Psychiatric Participation in Court,” Psychiatric Annals 7, no. 6 (1977): 43.Google Scholar
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    N. Kittrie, The Right to Be Different (Baltimore; Johns Hopkins University Press, 1971 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seymour L. Halleck
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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