Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2017

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Sociology, Anthropology & Criminal Justice; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Helen Miamidian

Abstract

With the reliance on rape myths to form opinions towards rape victims, the use of expert witnesses is of increased importance. Rape myths may give jurors misinformed notions about why, how, or to whom rape happens. This indicates a need for educational expert testimony in rape jury trials. It is proposed the use of this testimony will help dispel these myths and social biases towards victims of rape. This paper explores the need for expert witness testimony and the relationship between expert witness and jury. It discusses what type of testimony may be presented and who qualifies as an expert. The belief is with expert witness testimony, views will be reversed and a jury will be more likely to convict in a rape trial. Without expert witness testimony jurors are left with a limited understanding of the effects of rape on women. Juries will be more likely to side with the offender without the proper scope of the evidence.