Expert witnesses can make sense of a difficult situation, and lend some professional authority to a statement that would otherwise amount to a long, wet fart noise in the ears of the jury. You can count on these folks to give an honest opinion on the matter at hand, based on nothing but cold, precise, well-researched facts and science.
Or can you?
No. Obviously, the answer is going to be no. You've read the rest of this article; you know that. Quit being coy.
How It Can Go Horribly Wrong:
One well-informed expert witness is fine and all, but such a marvel is practically nonexistent in the legal system. It's common for both defense and prosecution to call their own expert witnesses on a subject, and equally common for them to give contradictory opinions. In fact, courts do more than prepare for this schism -- they actually expect it. The U.S. legal system enables a judge to bring in another expert witness just to choose between the expert witnesses of the opposing sides.
"Your honor, I'd like an expert witness to verify her expert credentials to verify the experts' expertise."
What's more, experts aren't even accountable for their antics. They are merely giving opinions. If they honestly believe they're right, even if they aren't, well, being wrong ain't illegal. If it was, anybody who doesn't like The Princess Bride would be in jail. Now, we're not saying that all experts are corrupt crooks selling their statements to the highest bidder. It's mostly down to unconscious bias. This means that each expert's opinion will be swayed to help the party they are working for, without intending any true malice.
Unlike those freaks who hate The Princess Bride. They're just plain evil.
Abraham is a Mexican lawyer. When he isn't doing law stuff, he writes comedy. You can say "Hi" to him on Twitter here, or visit his DeviantArt page here.
Psst ... want to give us feedback on the super-secret beta launch of the upcoming Cracked spinoff site, Braindrop? Well, simply follow us behind this curtain. Or, you know, click here: Braindrop.
We're pretty much convinced Hollywood perpetuates this stuff because it exists in a vacuum of dumb. Here's where else they're leading you astray: 6 Myths About Crime You Believe Thanks To Hollywood and 7 Bullshit Police Myths Everyone Believes (Thanks to Movies).
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out 5 Gun Myths You Probably Believe (Thanks To Movies), and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also, follow us on Facebook. Or don't. We aren't your parents.