Empirically Based Evidence

The Frye and Daubert standards state that expert testimony that is reliable, legally sufficient, and relevant to the case at hand is admissible in court. Additionally, when evidence has been deemed acceptable by the scientific community, this fact may be taken into consideration when determining reliability. If an investigative tool such as criminal profiling is used by forensic psychology professionals, they may have to provide expert testimony that must meet either the Frye or, more recently, the Daubert standards. In other words, the evidence provided in the criminal profile must be reliable, legally sufficient, and relevant to the case at hand.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the selected pages of Chapter 4 in Introduction to Forensic Psychology. Focus on the legal standards for admission of scientific evidence.
  • Review this week’s DVD program, “Investigative Psychology.” Think about what qualifies as valid and reliable evidence.
  • Review Chapter 3 in Introduction to Forensic Psychology. Pay attention to the techniques and tools used to obtain investigative information.
  • Consider whether the information obtained through these techniques and tools would be admissible in court.
  • Review the Criminal Profiling Research Web site in this week’s Learning Resources. Pay close attention to the evidence used in creating the criminal profile for the D.C. Snipers.
  • Think about whether the evidence obtained would meet the Frye and Daubert standards.
  • Think about the importance of empirically based evidence in investigative psychology.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 an explanation of the importance of empirically based evidence to investigative psychology. Be specific and provide an example in which the admissibility of expert testimony might be affected.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

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