Year: 1981 Source: American Criminal Law Review, v.18, (1981), p.617-635 SIEC No: 20010675

This note traces the development of the psychiatric autopsy technique & its acceptance in American courts. The admissibility of the psychiatric autopsy as character evidence introduced by expert or lay testimony under both common law & Federal Rules of Evidence is then discussed. The admissibility of the technique as part of a theory of self-defence is examined & alternative theories of admissibility are explored. After considering unresolved issues in this area, it is concluded that, although unqualified admission of the psychiatric autopsy is too prejudicial, the technique is highly probative in particular situations & should be admitted with appropriate safeguards. (151 notes)