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In Children in the Courtroom, Sherrie Bourg Carter provides attorneys and judges with the critical information they need to properly review and handle cases involving child witnesses. Through a detailed discussion of the complicated legal, investigative, and developmental problems that are commonly encountered when children are involved in the legal system, Bourg Carter offers practical guidance to help legal professionals maneuver the often thorny landscape of using child witnesses in litigation.
In an easy-to-read format, this book covers common legal arguments that arise with child witnesses, proper and improper child interview methods, legally relevant child developmental issues, and helpful procedures when children testify in the courtroom.
Full of new material, the Second Edition includes new sections on working with disabled child witnesses, taint, multiple incident cases, multiple victims cases, recantation, vertical prosecution, and child assessment centers. Bourg Carter delivers two new chapters - one devoted exclusively to improper interview techniques and the other outlining specific strategies for questioning a child witness. In addition, practitioners will find updated coverage of competence to testify; availability and hearsay; and reviews of case law related to Crawford v. Washington and Davis v. Washington.
The appendix includes a child witness questioning guide for competence to testify assessments and child sexual abuse cases.
Table of Contents
SECTION I: LEGAL ISSUES
1. COMPETENCE TO TESTIFY
2. AVAILABILITY AND HEARSAY
SECTION II: INTERVIEWER ISSUES
3. IMPROPER INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES
4. PROPER INTERVIEW PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES
SECTION III: DEVELOPMENTAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, MEDICAL, AND CULTURAL ISSUES
5. LEGALLY RELEVANT DEVELOPMENTAL ISSUES
6. PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, LEARNING AND LANGUAGE OR CULTURAL ISSUES
SECTION IV: CHILD WITNESSES IN THE COURTROOM
7. CHALLENGES WITHIN THE LEGAL SYSTEM
8. CHALLENGES FOR LEGAL PROFESSIONALS