Courts often rely heavily on expert witness testimony. It is important for the forensic mental health professional to not only understand the importance of providing such testimony but also to understand the standards that are applicable.
Forensic mental health professionals are hired to provide their expert opinions. It is essential for them to remain objective when providing their opinions. Expert witness testimony from forensic professionals may focus on various topics.
Using resources from the professional literature, conduct research and identify one type of case in which a forensic professional may be called to testify. You may choose from among the following topics:
Assessment of risk
Custody and fitness
The literature may include the Argosy University online library resources, relevant textbooks, peer-reviewed journal articles, and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu, .org, and .gov).
Write a 4- to 6-page paper in a Microsoft Word document addressing the following:
Identify the type of case and explain why you chose it.
Describe the key elements of the case with particular emphasis on the role and limitations of the forensic mental health professional when providing testimony.
Identify questions the forensic mental health professional may be asked during testimony.
Highlight the specific role and areas of limitations for the professional when providing testimony. Would the forensic professional be allowed to provide an opinion on the ultimate legal issue?
Identify an appropriate guideline from the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology that may apply to your chosen topic.
Examine the limits to confidentiality.
Discuss or further elaborate from your previous discussions with fellow students any landmark case decisions that play a role in expert witness testimony.