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People with mental retardation as witnesses in court : a review.

Kebbell, Mark R. and Hatton, Chris (1999) People with mental retardation as witnesses in court : a review. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 37 (3). pp. 179-187. ISSN 0895-8017

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Abstract

Evidence concerning eyewitness testimony given by people with mental retardation in court was reviewed. Despite general perceptions that people with mental retardation make incompetent witnesses, available evidence suggests that they can provide accurate accounts of witnessed events. The accounts are usually less complete than those provided by the general population and are greatly influenced by the methods of questioning. The sparse available evidence suggests that cross-examination methods may lead to memory distortion. The use of closed, complex, and leading questions and the absence of aids to recall may have a particularly adverse effect on people with mental retardation. Resulting errors could lead to a false conviction or acquittal. Future policy and research in this much neglected area were discussed.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: American Journal of Mental Retardation
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
ID Code: 26337
Deposited By: Mrs Janet Harris
Deposited On: 01 May 2009 15:05
Refereed?: No
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 16:31
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/26337

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