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Evidence in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases, Volumes 1 and 2

NCJ Number
J E B Myers
Date Published
886 pages
This two-volume text provides up-to-date information on relevant aspects of child development and presents a comprehensive discussion of evidentiary and constitutional issues that arise in child-abuse litigation.
The information on child development is involved in virtually every aspect of child abuse litigation, from testimonial competence to cross-examination. Some of the issues examined in the discussion of child development are whether young children can understand the difference between the truth and a lie, whether children can differentiate fact from fantasy, the suggestibility of children, whether children can remember what they observe, and at what age children can accurately place events in a temporal framework. In examining evidentiary and constitutional issues in child-abuse litigation, this book discusses accusatory pleadings, privileges, and pretrial discovery, followed by an indepth analysis of testimonial competence. Two chapters analyze physical abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse cases, with an emphasis on expert testimony. Another chapter considers direct examination, cross-examination, and witness impeachment, followed by a chapter on the rules that govern character witnesses and uncharged misconduct evidence. A chapter analyzes hearsay evidence, and the final chapter discusses constitutional constraints on closing the courtroom while children testify, permitting children to testify outside the physical presence of the defendant, and related issues. The author provides many case examples of the application of the rules of evidence in child abuse trials and presents hundreds of appellate decisions on child abuse and neglect. Table of cases and a subject index