Partisan allegiance in legal cases involving sexual assault
partisan allegiance, Static-99R, sexual assault, expert testimony, risk assessment; sentencing
The present study involved the assessment of partisan allegiance in expert witnesses in 261 Canadian sentencing decisions, each involving sexual assault. Sentencing decisions were assessed to determine whether risk levels communicated by defense and prosecution-retained evaluators reflect the presence of partisan allegiance. A validated risk measure (Static-99R) was used to assess each sentenced defendant based on the information provided in the written decision and served as an anchor (i.e., comparative assessment of risk). The risk levels for each defendant, based on the Static-99R and information in the sentencing decisions, were used to determine if there existed any discrepancy in the reporting of risk levels due to evaluator allegiance. The results revealed that while the prosecution-retained experts’ scores correlated with the researchers’ risk scores, they tended to provide a greater percentage of risk scores that were higher than the researchers’ risk scores.
Adams, L., & Jung, S. (2020). Partisan allegiance in legal cases involving sexual assault. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, 63, 1-9.
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