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The role of experts and their presentation of testimony in insanity cases remain controversial. In order to decrease possible expert bias associated with this testimony, a number of different alternatives to adversarial presentation have been suggested. Two such alternatives are the use of court-appointed experts and the use of concurrent testimony (or "hot-tubbing"), in which opposing experts provide testimony concurrently and converse with each other directly. An experiment using a sample of venire jurors (n = 150) tested the effect of these alternatives. Results indicate that participants' pre-existing attitudes towards the insanity defense had significant effects on their comprehension of expert testimony, their evaluations of the two opposing experts, and their eventual verdicts, over and above the presentation format (i.e., concurrent vs. traditional testimony) or the use of court-appointed experts (vs. traditional adversarial experts). When concurrent testimony was presented, defense-favoring experts were perceived by jurors as more credible than their traditional counterparts, though comprehension of the testimony did not increase; nor did the presentation format or the affiliation of the experts affect verdicts. The legal and policy implications of the incorporation of the hot-tubbing procedure to US courts are discussed.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Behavioral sciences & the law
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Voluntary organizations which support educational programs and research in psychiatry with the objective of the promotion of mental health. An early association in the United States was founded as the National Committee for Mental Hygiene in 1909, became the Mental Health Association in 1976 and later the National Mental Health Association in 1980. State and local mental health associations in this country are chartered by the national organization and affiliated with it.
Two or more concurrent chronic physical, mental, or behavioral health problems in an individual.
Review of the medical necessity of hospital or other health facility admissions, upon or within a short time following an admission, and periodic review of services provided during the course of treatment.
The inspection of one's own body, usually for signs of disease (e.g., BREAST SELF-EXAMINATION, testicular self-examination).
The decrease in the cell's ability to proliferate with the passing of time. Each cell is programmed for a certain number of cell divisions and at the end of that time proliferation halts. The cell enters a quiescent state after which it experiences CELL DEATH via the process of APOPTOSIS.