Admissibility of evidence refers to any testimonial, documentary material, or other form of tangible evidence that can be considered by the trier of fact, most typically a judge or a jury, in the context of a judicial or administrative proceeding. In order for evidence to be admissible, it must be relevant, non-prejudicial, and possess some indicia of reliability. For example, if evidence consists of a witness testimonial, it must be established that the witness is credible and that he/she has knowledge of that which he/she is declaring. For neuropsychologists, a central issue is the admissibility of one’s data and opinions. Rules 401, 402, and 702–705 from Article VII of the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) relate to “Opinions and Expert Testimony.” Perhaps of most relevance to psychologists is rule FRE 702 which states, “If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a...
References and Readings
- A complete list of the federal rules of evidence. Available at: http://judiciary.house.gov/media/pdfs/printers/108th/evid2004.pdf
- Greiffenstein, M. F. (2009). Basics of forensic neuropsychology. In J. Morgan & J. Ricker (Eds.), Textbook of clinical neuropsychology. New York: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
- Jenkins v. United States, 307 F. 2d 637 (1962).Google Scholar
- Kaufmann, P. M. (2008). Admissibility of neuropsychological evidence in criminal cases: Competency, insanity, culpability, and mitigation. In R. Denney & J. Sullivan (Eds.), Clinical neuropsychology in the criminal forensic setting. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar