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February 13, 1897


JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(7):322. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440070036007

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In a murder case, after stating that, upon the trial, medical experts were examined on either side, and gave their answers to hypothetic questions as prepared and propounded, the court of appeals of New York uses this language: "The usual conflict of opinion occurred, which is constantly seen upon such trials, and which tends not only to bring discredit upon a learned profession, but, more seriously, to embarrass the search after the truth, in which the tribunal is engaged, by confusing and darkening the minds of the jurors with opinions upon the scientific questions before them, which are expressed as previously pledged to either side. The fact that the rule which permits expert testimony in such cases works, in practice, badly for the interests of justice, can not be so much attributable to the inexactness of the science in which the witness is assumed to be skilled as to the

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