Tag Archives: testimony

Why Crime Scene Reconstruction Does Not Answer the Why? Question

By Dean H. Garrison, Jr.

This article originally appeared in the MAFS newsletter April 1996.

“I tend not to try to determine why people do things at crime scenes.”
-Criminalist Charles Morton
California v Menedez II, Trial transcript 12-5-95

Crime scene reconstruction may answer the question of where a victim was standing when an axe hit him or who stepped in the pool of blood by the door or what caused the revolver’s hammer to fall or when the third shot hit the car window or how the knife ended up out on the patio, but the crime scene reconstructionist cannot answer the ultimate question, the final question that tugs at everyone’s mind, the all-encompassing, all-seeing, all-knowing question of WHY did the crime happen? This may account for the fact that attorneys (for either side) very seldom ask “Why?” questions. Continue reading

Elements of Expert Testimony

By Pat A. Wertheim

This article originally appeared in Minutiae, the Lightning Powder Co. Newsletter, #44, Sep-Oct 1997

When offering testimony as an expert witness, regardless of the witness’ discipline, five distinct topic areas must be covered. These five areas are the witness’ qualifications, the science practiced by the witness, the introduction and chain of custody of the evidence, the analysis or examination process, and the expert’s opinion. By adequately covering each area in sequence, the witness will five the judge or jury all of the information necessary to understand the opinion presented.
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