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Medical Expert Witnesses in Death Penalty Cases

Medical expert witnesses are often hired and used for various cases in prosecution and defense alike, and these professionals are able to explain various pieces of evidence. Through an understanding of the subject matter, these individuals are capable of explaining things to the jury or judge that were confusing or misunderstood previously.

When a person is on trial where he or she could be put to death, various experts may be hired to assist with the case. To defend the individual, the expert could be required to explain how evidence does not point to him or her, how a procedure was performed and why the defendant was not responsible or similar circumstances. Other professionals must detail what drugs do in situations, how they affect the human body or why they would be purchased together. A medical expert witness is invaluable when the case involves medical procedures, surgery, medication and various other similar items.

Sometimes, a medical expert is hired based on drugs or medical processes in the death penalty itself. Some drugs cause a botched legal injection and could lead to injury, suffering or torment rather than the death that should have occurred. When these instances occur, an
expert is hired to explain what happened and why the drug should not be used in the future. If the process is to blame, the professional may need to educate the prison or others performing the injection on what to do differently to ensure the error does not occur again.

Experts in Death Penalty Cases

When a person is facing criminal charges where the death penalty is the certain outcome of a conviction, experts are often hired to help the defense as well as the prosecution to show how the evidence points to the defendant or is not connected to him or her. When his or her experience and knowledge are put to the test, the medical expert may explain how the health or mental deficiency of the accused is not in line with the death or grievous harm caused. If the defendant is not strong enough to have strangled someone, this is explained in detail by the expert.

The case may involve the expert creating a report with a recreation of the crime, the scene, evidence gathered and opinions about the entire situation. The report often includes a conclusion with personal opinions based on the entire event as well as diagrams, visual aids and other information. The booklet could have only a few pages, but frequently they are over a dozen well-crafted papers tied together at the end with a conclusion about why the defendant is not guilty of the crimes. This is connected to the evidence specifically and the physical health or characteristics of the accused.

Medical Expert Testimony

Testimony is presented by a medical expert to explain various confusing aspects of medication and procedures. The reason why someone is in surgery for fourteen hours is detailed by these professionals. Another instance where a sedative is injected may be described as necessary for a certain aspects of the treatment provided by medical staff. With these details given and a better understanding of why actions are taken, the judge and jury are able to connect the sequence of events with negligence or injurious activity. Then, they are able to better clarify confusion. For death penalty cases, the victim has been subjected to grievous harm or death. The medical professional must explain why these processes are needed after the injuries.

Death and severe harm caused by someone could lead to possible death penalty consequences. However, a medical expert witness is hired to explain physiological issues in some defendants when working for the accused. If his or her brain has a tumor that is causing violent behavior, he or she could not be responsible for his actions based on testimony. Others may be hired to explain to the jury that the death penalty is too harsh for the crime and that it should be considered.

The Expert Explained

Medical Experts are hired for experience and knowledge in the healthcare world. In death penalty cases, the expert could argue for or against legal injection. The actions taken to put the convict to death may be explained better during the court case to attempt to sway the judge and jury for or against the activity. If the drugs used are more harmful and lead to a form of torture, it is important for the expert to detail these issues.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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