Miranda: Admissibility of Expert Testimony on False Confessions; Failure of Expert To Offer Case and Fact-Specific Basis for His Expert Testimony; Exclusion of Pro-Offered Expert Testimony; Dr. Ofshe <i>People v. Bedessie</i>, No. 46 (N.Y. Court of

Written By: Reid
May 06, 2012
Attorney James Manak writes a monthly legal column for our Reid Institute Members - the heading above is the focus of his April 2012 column - because it deals with how the N. Y. Court of Appeals viewed the testimony of Dr. Richard Ofshe in the Bedessie case, a false confession expert, we thought the general readership would be interested in a few of the observations by the court that Attorney Manak included in his column.

"In this appeal, the New York Court of Appeals was asked for the first time to consider the admissibility of expert testimony proffered on the issue of the reliability of a confession. While in a proper case expert testimony on the phenomenon of false confessions is admissible, the expert here, Dr. Richard J. Ofshe--an expert well known to Reid alumni--did not propose testimony relevant to this defendant or her interrogation. As a result, the court ruled the trial judge did not abuse its discretion when it declined to hold a Frye hearing (admissibility of scientific evidence) to assess whether any principles about which the expert proposed to testify were generally accepted in the scientific community, or to permit the expert to testify."
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