Are expert witnesses relied on too heavily in court? How can the system be improved?I guess it's more of like an opinion, but in our days incourt, are expert witnesses replied on too heavily? and...

Are expert witnesses relied on too heavily in court? How can the system be improved?

I guess it's more of like an opinion, but in our days incourt, are expert witnesses replied on too heavily? and if so or if not in general how can the legal system, the courts, improve the systen?

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dano7744's profile pic

dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

The criminal justice system in this country is by no means perfect,  but it is the envy of the world. She is slow on purpose or "deliberately slow and cautious". A turtle's pace tries to prevent rushing to judgement and falsely convicting someone. Albeit, defendants are wrongly convicted frequently in this country. Perfect it is NOT.

Expert testimony from expert witnesses is an essential part of the administration of justice. I do not think they are over used. In fact, the contrary. Many defendants and plaintiffs alike could reap rewards from expert testimony. Especially, if the case is quite technical or heavy in one of the science's. Lay people and jurors alike need help deciphering the many facets of court house drama and procedural directives from the bench. One underlying issue is money. By all accounts, expert witness testimony is expensive. Average defendant's can not afford this added luxury. Expert witnesses are usually paid some fees well in advance of the trial. Most only start researching a case after receiving some portion of the agreed upon fee. I do agree with a statement I read on another post that stated something to the affect that for every expert one side can find, the other half of the bar can locate just as many experts.  This is very true and common. The jury must decide which expert is most believable.

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would say that the role of expert witnesses is part of a mosaic on the part of the defense or the prosecution.  I don't think any advocate would be able to depend solely on expert witness testimony, but rather use it in complement to other components of a valid presentation to a judge/ jury.  I think that a challenge to the expert witness element could be that for every so- called "expert witness" who believes one thing, another could be found to believe the opposite.  In the end, it might be too confusing and convoluted to expect a jury to sort through battling expert witness monologues.  I would hope that in these settings a judge is able to set some standards so that expert witness testimony is not too obtuse and opaque.

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