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Prosecution-side expert testimony

Another thought relevant to yesterday's question of whether the Georgia legislature did the right thing by encouraging super-permissive standards for admitting scientific evidence prosecutors wish to introduce in criminal proceedings:

The rules of evidence are primarily statutory or common law. Nonetheless, constitutional rights are involved, such as the rights to a public trial, to know the evidence against you, and to confront your accusers. There is also a right, which probably rises to constitutional stature, to be convicted only on the basis of competent evidence. For example, if a state decided to start sending people to jail on the basis of testimony from the Psychic Friends Network, one would hope such efforts would fail on constitutional grounds.

-- James V. DeLong, "The New 'Criminal' Classes: Legal Sanctions and Business Managers", originally published in 1997 and reprinted as part of Go Directly To Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything, edited by Gene Healy and published earlier this year by the Cato Institute.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.