Study Guides (248,151)
Canada (121,346)
Psychology (952)
PSYC 3020 (35)
Dan Yarmey (29)

unit 1 CR 1.2.docx

4 Pages
Unlock Document

PSYC 3020
Dan Yarmey

Unit 1 – Course Reader 1.2 Forensic Psychological Testimony: Is the Courtroom Door Now Locked and Barred? Abstract  Since 1993 (R v. Marquard) It has become increasingly more difficult for lawyers to have proposed psychological testimony admitted into evidence at trial  The author reviews several recent cases and shows how courts are applying legal rules of admissibility in cases where expert psychological evidence is being proffered  The testimony of expert witnesses in general, and forensic psychologists in particular is disappearing from Canadian criminal trials  Trial judges in Ontario are declaring the testimony of psychologists inadmissible  Reduction of admissible forensic psychological testimony has been a result of a series of decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) and Ontario Court of Appeal (OCA) in the last 6 years R v. Marquard (1993)  Court ruled that expert witnesses couldn’t comment on the credibility of a witness  A young girl severely burnt her face while in the care of her grandmother (Marquard); at first she said it happened when she tried to light a cigarette and then later confessed to her grandmother burning her face intentionally on the stove; sentenced to 5 years but appealed through OCA and was knocked down to 2 years; further appealed to SCC which ordered a new trial due to the expert testimony—doctor from Suspected Child Abuse Clinic testified in her opinion that the girl lied when she said she burnt herself with a cigarette; the SCC judge felt it was inappropriate for this doctor to have commented on the truthfulness of the child Regina v. Mohan (1994)  Dr. Mohan was a pediatrician who was charged with 4 counts of sexual assault of 4 female patients (inappropriate fondling of breasts, vaginal penetration and stimulation, and intrusive questioning about sexual activities); defence counsel sought to call a psychiatrist who would testify that the accused would not fall within the narrow class of unusual individuals who would fit this crime; the trial judge said this evidence was inadmissible and Dr. Mohan was convicted; appealed to OCA and allowed a new trial based on the grounds that the OCA judge felt the trail judge erred in not permitting the jury to hear the expert evidence; the SCC then overturned OCA ruling  Mr. Justice Sopinka wrote the decision in the SCC which significantly changed the law on admissibility of all expert testimony; testimony could only be admissible if it met the following criteria (i.e. Mohan test): o Relevance – evidence has to be logically relevant to the inquiry; the delivery of evidence must not be prejudice bc there is the danger that it will be misused and will distort the fact-finding process o Necessity of assisting the trier of fact – expert opinions are admissible if they provide scientific information that the judge and jury aren’t knowledgeable about; if on the proven facts a judge or jury can form their own conclusions without help, then the opinion of an expert is unnecessary o The absence of any exclusionary rule – the evidence would otherwise be admissible pursuant to the laws of evidence o The expert must be properly qualified R v. McIntosh and McCarthy (1997)  Third decision that affected the admissibility of psychological testimony involving studies in eyewitness identification  Owen McIntosh and Paul McCarthy had been charged with attempted murder/robbery/ firearms offences; charges arose from a robbery in a dry cleaning store during which a shooting occurred; both accused fled the store and were not arrested for 3 months; at trial, there was some circumstantial evidence to link both accused to the scene of the crime and the escape vehicle; the defence sought to call expert evidence on eye-witnes identification; called Dr. Yarmey to testify but his evidence was deemed inadmissible both at trial and on appeal
More Less

Related notes for PSYC 3020

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.