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Am J Public Health. 2005;95 Suppl 1:S137-43.

Expert evidence, the adversary system, and the jury.

Author information

1
Pyschology Department, Duke Law School, Science and Towerview Drives, Durham, NC 27708, USA. vidmar@law.duke.edu

Abstract

Many assertions have been made about the competence of juries in dealing with expert evidence. I review the types of expert evidence that jurors hear and the impact of adversary legal procedure on the form and manner in which evidence is presented. Empirical research indicates that jurors understand the adversary process, that they do not automatically defer to the opinions of experts, and that their verdicts appear to be generally consistent with external criteria of performance. Conflicts between the American adversary system and changes in trial procedures that might assist the jury in its task are also considered here.

PMID:
16030330
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2004.044677
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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