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JAMA 100 Years Ago
August 20, 2003


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(7):966. doi:10.1001/jama.290.7.966-b

It has been suggested that in criminal cases in which questions of mental sanity or other medical questions are involved there should be a jury of physicians. Thus can be avoided, it is to be inferred, the scandal of conflicting "expert" testimony (so-called), which is so often used, it is claimed, to befog the jury and embarrass justice. It is assumed that a medical jury would be able to properly interpret the evidence and reach a correct conclusion where an ordinary jury of laymen would fail. This seems plausible, but will hardly bear examination.