Mary Lyn Huffman & Demosthenes Lorandos
Much more complicated than a video recording, memories are actually constructed by our minds based on previous knowledge and those pieces of events we remember; and as a constructive event, recall can easily become distorted–producing false memories. A complex field of study, when a witness, and in particular a child witness, comes forward with disputed testimony, proper expertise in memory, suggestibility and misattribution is imperative if lawyers, jurists and, most importantly, the finder of fact, is to sort out the truth.
This chapter on False Memory & Suggestibility provides detailed guidance, from thorough coverage of the science of memory and proper interviewing protocols to suggested voir dire for both direct-and cross-examination of experts. Focusing on child testimony while also discussing adult suggestibility, particular topics include:
Building blocks of false memory in children
Competency and reliability
Common juror misperceptions of child testimony
Expert witness qualifications
Impact of naturally occurring conversations
Clinical versus forensic goals
Anatomical dolls & drawings
False memories and witness reliability
Role of the memory & suggestibility expert
Common misperceptions of allegations of abuse
Lack of proper interview recording &the difficulty of reconstructing an unrecorded interview
Negative effects of cross-examination
Negative impact of parental questioning
Failure to document alternative hypotheses
Sample cross-examination and direct examination questions
Providing a thorough introduction to the fundamental factors of memory and suggestibility, this chapter will enable attorneys and experts to proffer (and judges to admit) competent and reliable expert testimony and keep unqualified, inadequate opinions from the jury. Replete with scholarly and legal cases that illustrate each point, the chapter on False Memory & Suggestibility is essential for anyone faced with difficult and/or questionable testimony.
Copyright © 2023 Litigator's Handbook - All Rights Reserved.