The reliability of confessions is subject to a variety of factors, some of which give rise to expert testimony. To the degree that prosecutors construe the determination of reliability as an objective standard, they may attempt to bar testimony. Moreover, when the testimony is theoretical rather than clinical, there are additional challenges. Depending on jurisdiction, the admissibility of expert testimony on whether a confession was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary is subject to a legal threshold such as the Frye or Daubert standard. The authors review a 2002 New Jersey Superior Court ruling that illustrates the forces that shape the admissibility of confessions.
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