Reflections of a First-Time Expert Witness
3 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2014
Date Written: September 2, 2013
This Essay offers reflections of my first experience as an expert witness in a child pornography sentencing hearing. I contemplate the worth of sentencing experts, and ultimately conclude that experts should be used more often, especially in advisory guideline systems like the federal system. Certainly, a sentencing expert can relay valuable information uncovered through her sentencing research. More importantly, though, a sentencing expert can, perhaps, inspire the court to explore appropriate sentences outside of Guidelines ranges. Consciously or unconsciously, judges may desire support before stepping out on such a journey. I think this is a hugely important function, and counsel in criminal cases should seriously consider this option.
Keywords: Sentencing, expert witness, child pornography
JEL Classification: K14, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation