Explore court standards, rules, and regulations and the differences among them for selecting and approving professional witnesses and determining admissibility of expert testimony. Use resources from professional literature and conduct research to support your responses. Professional literature may include relevant textbooks; peer-reviewed journal articles; and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu, .org, and .gov).
Write a 3- to 4-page paper, including the following:
What standards are used by courts to determine who is an expert witness?
What standards are used by courts to determine the admissibility of expert testimony?
What are the differences between standards for sentencing, commitment, and competencies in civil and criminal courts?
Sometimes, there is confusion about the last bullet point in this assignment which says, “What are the responsibilities of the expert witness in sentencing, commitment, and competencies between civil and criminal courts?”
Here are a few tips:
1. Sentencing: This only pertains to criminal court, since there is no “civil” sentencing. Therefore, you can talk about an example of how a forensic psychologist would contribute to sentencing, such as discussing mitigating and aggravating factors.
2. Regarding commitment, you are basically talking about civil court in two scenarios: civil psychiatric commitment for those who are mentally ill and dangerous and civil commitment of sex offenders, usually post-sentence.
3. On competency, give one example of a competency you’d assess in criminal court and one in the civil arena, such as competency to refuse treatment.