±Forensic Focus Partners

Become an advertising partner

±Your Account


Username
Password

Forgotten password/username?

Site Members:

New Today: 0 Overall: 35615
New Yesterday: 1 Visitors: 162

±Follow Forensic Focus

Forensic Focus Facebook PageForensic Focus on TwitterForensic Focus LinkedIn GroupForensic Focus YouTube Channel

RSS feeds: News Forums Articles

±Latest Articles

±Latest Webinars

What if the suspect wanted to be his own Defence Expert?

Computer forensics discussion. Please ensure that your post is not better suited to one of the forums below (if it is, please post it there instead!)
Reply to topicReply to topic Printer Friendly Page
Forum FAQSearchView unanswered posts
Page 1, 2  Next 
  

Chris_Ed
Senior Member
 

What if the suspect wanted to be his own Defence Expert?

Post Posted: Jul 15, 11 12:15

Morning!

We were having a discussion about Defence Experts in the office this morning, and the question came up; what if the suspect wanted to be his own Defence Expert? Is that legal? Would you even be allowed to release the digital evidence to him?

Assume, for the purposes of the discussion, that the case involves indecent images - and although I'm based in the UK, I would be interested in views/experiences from all countries!  
 
  

Rich2005
Senior Member
 

Re: What if the suspect wanted to be his own Defence Expert?

Post Posted: Jul 15, 11 13:14

Yes it is. Happened in my last case (after he got rid of his own defence expert for not saying what he wanted to hear). And yes this also involved indecent images. No material wasn't released to him, but he was given supervised access to it.  
 
  

pragmatopian
Senior Member
 

Re: What if the suspect wanted to be his own Defence Expert?

Post Posted: Jul 15, 11 18:23

It sounds like a daft move on his part, and I'd assume his counsel would strongly recommend against it, but if he could establish that he was indeed an 'expert' on the relevant matters then I'm not aware of any reason in English law why he couldn't act as one in his own defence.

I expect issues about his credibility as an expert would be at the forefront of the mind(s) of the tribunal of fact.  
 
  

4n6art
Senior Member
 

Re: What if the suspect wanted to be his own Defence Expert?

Post Posted: Jul 15, 11 18:37

 
  

Sherryka
Newbie
 

Re: What if the suspect wanted to be his own Defence Expert?

Post Posted: Aug 04, 11 22:11

It would be a phenomenally stupid idea, but most defendants wouldn't be in the position they are in if they exercised good judgment.

I am both a lawyer and a forensic analyst. This is from the perspective of the US legal system. Consider that once you put someone on the stand it opens the door to all kinds of testimony. A defendant does not have to testify, but if they do they can be asked about issues pertaining to credibility that otherwise would not be admissible. Also, anything the defendant says can be used as an admission.

Even in an ediscovery context. Companies sometimes use a consultant rather than an internal IT person to testify about the internal systems. One reason for that is that if you put the IT person on the stand they can be asked about the facts of the case.

There are few things one can say categorically yes or no to in law, but NEVER put the defendant on the stand as an expert in his or her own case - it may be permissible but it is stupid.  
 
  

mykulh
Member
 

Re: What if the suspect wanted to be his own Defence Expert?

Post Posted: Aug 05, 11 02:19

I think Chris originally meant, what if someone was acting as their own expert and requested a copy of the images files with indecent images on them.

How would it pan out if he was found guilty and we had supplied him with all his indecent material which could potentially be copied and distributed in the months before trial and then after the trial how would we go about making sure everything was destroyed?

Would he be within his rights to make copies whilst the investigation was proceeding?

Would limiting access due to the potential questionable character, after all he is charged with a serious offence, be seen as him being treated unfairly?

Would allowing access to, but not copies of, the material be enough for us to be fair?

All the defence experts we deal with sign a MoU which they take seriously but would a suspect be bound by such restrictions?

Image the worse case scenario what if the suspect have live abuse image of a family member and these were posted in the Internet/Peer to Peer after the police had released the image files to the suspect?

Apart from that being an incredibly stupid thing to do what sort of blame, if any, could be laid at the police?  
 
  

kovar
Senior Member
 

Re: What if the suspect wanted to be his own Defence Expert?

Post Posted: Aug 05, 11 02:48

Greetings,

There is a prisoner in Washington State who is serving as his own lawyer on a CP case and has access to the images. More detail here:

www.truecrimereport.co...egal_t.php

_David
_________________
CISSP, CCE, EnCE, Licensed Private Investigator (CA) 
 

Page 1 of 2
Page 1, 2  Next