Friday, August 11, 2006

NJ Supreme Court Holds Hypnotically Refreshed Memories Inadmissible

New Jersey's Supreme Court issued an opinion yesterday holding that hypnotically refreshed memories will generally be inadmissible, henceforth, in criminal trials. See State v. Moore, No. A-38-2003 (Aug. 10, 2006). The majority opinion, which overrules the approach previously followed under State v. Hurd, 86 N.J. 525, 432 A.2d 86 (1981), concludes that hypnotically refreshed testimony fails to satisfy the reliability test for scientific evidence established in Rubanick v. Witco Chem. Corp., 125 N.J. 421, 593 A.2d 733 (1991). Criminal defendants, however, will continue to enjoy the right to offer their own hypnotically refreshed testimony in light of Rock v. Arkansas, 483 U.S. 44 (1987).


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Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.