Vanderbilt Law Review

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This Recent Development proposes that courts should permit the use of battered woman syndrome expert testimony, but restrict its use to informing juries of the peculiar mental and emotional state of battered women. This role of the expert as educator would serve to dispel a jury's misconceptions about battered women and, at the same time, draw the focus of the testimony away from the implication which troubled the Buhrle court--that the battered woman syndrome represents a new defense to murder.The Advisory Committee explains in a note that rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence suggests the use of expert testimony as a vehicle to educate juries. ' This note states,

..."Most of the literature assumes that experts testify only in the form of opinions. The assumption is logically unfounded. The rule accordingly recognizes that an expert on the stand may give a dissertation or exposition of scientific or other principles relevant to the case, leaving the trier of fact to apply them to the facts.... [I]t seems wise to recognize that opinions are not indispensable and to encourage the use of expert testimony in non-opinion form when counsel believes the trier can itself draw the requisite inference."