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Case Review: Murder on a Sunday Morning

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Murder on a Sunday Morning.- A description of the case study in the documentary, including a description of the individual and the forensic population he is from.
A description of the potential role(s) of a forensic psychology professional in relation to the case study.
An explanation of the forensic assessment principles that apply to the case study
A description of any third party information that may be necessary to collect for forensic assessment of the case study

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Documentary Case Review: Murder on a Sunday Morning

• Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
• Cinematography: Isabelle Razavet
• Producer: Denis Poncet
• Distributor: Direct Cinema
• Country: United States, France
• Date: September 2003
• URL: http://documentaryparadise.com/crime-documentaries/murder-on-a-sunday-morning/#.UKXprOQ72Ah

The case in review is presented in documentary form of the trial and justice experience of Brenton Butler, who was 15-years old when he was wrongfully identified in a murder case in the year 2000. The Oscar-award winning documentary condenses the trial of Butler who was wrongfully identified as the thief who accosted James & Mary Ann Stephens, a couple who was mugged with the wife shot at point blank range. The Stephens couple were visiting Jacksonville, Florida from Georgia and were staying at the Ramada Inn on University Boulevard. That Sunday morning just as the couple was being accosted, high school student Butler was looking after his dog and was contemplating his application for a job at the video store. In the ensuing immediate investigation, Butler was picked up by the police while on his way to drop off his application at the video store. It appeared that the case was closed when Butler confessed both orally and in writing to 2 police detectives one of whom was Michael Glover, son of the Sheriff, Nat Glover. Because of this, state Attorney Harry Shorstein decided to prosecute the case. Butler was given two public defenders, Patrick McGuinness and Ann Finnell who learned from their client that he was intimated to confess and was beaten by the detectives to admit to the crime. McGuinness and Finnell produced evidence of the physical assault and in the trial Butler told the story of how he was physically assaulted to confess. This testimony resulted to Butler's acquittal with both Glover and Shorstein apologizing to the teen publicly although they maintain that there was no physical abuse that occurred. McGuinness and Finnell meanwhile tipped the Sheriff's office about 2 other suspects that their research has revealed in the course of their defence of Butler - Juan Curtis and Jermel Williams. Curtis' fingerprints were found on the victim's ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of reviewing a forensic psychology case that tackled false confession and witness reliability. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.

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Murder on a Sunday Morning (Effective Testimony)

Testimony from a fact or expert witness can be effective or ineffective. Effective testimony provides persuasive information to the trier of fact (the judge or jury) in any case. Although truthful and ethical testimony is always the goal, there are ways in which information can be presented that may help forensic psychology professionals to be more effective in their roles as expert witnesses without compromising the truth or their ethics. Expertise, trustworthiness, impression management, and dynamism all will contribute to the effectiveness of a forensic psychology professional's testimony.

It is important to note that the purpose of the forensic psychology professional is not to testify to persuade the trier of fact in any direction or to agree with one side over another. He or she is there to present data and information so that the trier of fact understands the situation, regardless of which side has called him or her to testify.
identify examples of effective testimony in the video Murder on a Sunday Morning and analyze elements of those examples in terms of their efficacy.

To prepare for this Discussion:

View the video Murder on a Sunday Morning. Think about what constitutes an effective testimony and why it is effective.

Select four examples of expert testimony from the video Murder on a Sunday Morning. Consider how and why you think each is effective.

With these thoughts in mind:

a description of the four examples of effective testimony you selected from the video Murder on a Sunday Morning. Then explain why and how you think each is effective, and be sure to identify the elements of each example that contribute to its effectiveness.

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