Return to Forensic Home Page|| Return to Table of Contents
 

Landmark Cases

Case Name:  BAREFOOT v. W.J. ESTELLE, Jr.

Date, Location, Cite: 1983 TX
463 US 880
US SUPREME COURT

In 1978 Barefoot was convicted of 1st degree Murder. AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION filed Amicus Brief saying

1) Psychiatrists can't predict dangerousness

2) Psychiatrist should have to examine patient to give an opinion.

The Supreme Court affirmed lower court & said "The fact that prediction of future dangerousness is difficult does not mean that it can not be made" (JUREK)-- also, hypothetical question was allowable; PSYCHIATRIST CAN TESTIFY TO ULTIMATE ISSUE- Justices Brennan & Marshall dissented.