Criminal profiling in the courtrooms: Behavioural investigative advice or bad character evidence?

Gareth Norris, Wayne A. Petherick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Criminal profiling has received considerable attention from media sources; sufficiently so to allow it to enter into public folklore as a viable investigative technique. It has also attracted considerable attention from the academic community in the form of journal articles and books, and from the professional community in the form of profiling organizations and the establishment of formal profiling units within police agencies. Despite what would appear to be almost universal acclaim, the practice has met with less favorable reviews by the legal communities whom it is also intended to serve. Notably, it has come under fire for its lack of empirical foundation, limited uniformity in process and practice, and insufficient training and education among practitioners. This article explores what profiling involves, its relevance as legal evidence is questioned and in particular the danger of falling foul to the prosecutor’s fallacy’ is examined. Its use in court and as a form of expert testimony is reviewed and some tentative recommendations for its future in a legal context conclude the article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-54
Number of pages16
JournalCambrian Law Review
Volume41
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

community
evidence
folklore
testimony
police
expert
lack
education

Cite this

@article{3de2edff32ea420c8643aa1fdb6220bb,
title = "Criminal profiling in the courtrooms: Behavioural investigative advice or bad character evidence?",
abstract = "Criminal profiling has received considerable attention from media sources; sufficiently so to allow it to enter into public folklore as a viable investigative technique. It has also attracted considerable attention from the academic community in the form of journal articles and books, and from the professional community in the form of profiling organizations and the establishment of formal profiling units within police agencies. Despite what would appear to be almost universal acclaim, the practice has met with less favorable reviews by the legal communities whom it is also intended to serve. Notably, it has come under fire for its lack of empirical foundation, limited uniformity in process and practice, and insufficient training and education among practitioners. This article explores what profiling involves, its relevance as legal evidence is questioned and in particular the danger of falling foul to the prosecutor’s fallacy’ is examined. Its use in court and as a form of expert testimony is reviewed and some tentative recommendations for its future in a legal context conclude the article.",
author = "Gareth Norris and Petherick, {Wayne A.}",
year = "2010",
language = "English",
volume = "41",
pages = "39--54",
journal = "Cambrian Law Review",
issn = "0084-8328",

}

Criminal profiling in the courtrooms: Behavioural investigative advice or bad character evidence? / Norris, Gareth; Petherick, Wayne A.

In: Cambrian Law Review, Vol. 41, 2010, p. 39-54.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Criminal profiling in the courtrooms: Behavioural investigative advice or bad character evidence?

AU - Norris, Gareth

AU - Petherick, Wayne A.

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Criminal profiling has received considerable attention from media sources; sufficiently so to allow it to enter into public folklore as a viable investigative technique. It has also attracted considerable attention from the academic community in the form of journal articles and books, and from the professional community in the form of profiling organizations and the establishment of formal profiling units within police agencies. Despite what would appear to be almost universal acclaim, the practice has met with less favorable reviews by the legal communities whom it is also intended to serve. Notably, it has come under fire for its lack of empirical foundation, limited uniformity in process and practice, and insufficient training and education among practitioners. This article explores what profiling involves, its relevance as legal evidence is questioned and in particular the danger of falling foul to the prosecutor’s fallacy’ is examined. Its use in court and as a form of expert testimony is reviewed and some tentative recommendations for its future in a legal context conclude the article.

AB - Criminal profiling has received considerable attention from media sources; sufficiently so to allow it to enter into public folklore as a viable investigative technique. It has also attracted considerable attention from the academic community in the form of journal articles and books, and from the professional community in the form of profiling organizations and the establishment of formal profiling units within police agencies. Despite what would appear to be almost universal acclaim, the practice has met with less favorable reviews by the legal communities whom it is also intended to serve. Notably, it has come under fire for its lack of empirical foundation, limited uniformity in process and practice, and insufficient training and education among practitioners. This article explores what profiling involves, its relevance as legal evidence is questioned and in particular the danger of falling foul to the prosecutor’s fallacy’ is examined. Its use in court and as a form of expert testimony is reviewed and some tentative recommendations for its future in a legal context conclude the article.

UR - http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/camblr41&div=1&id=&page=&collection=journals

M3 - Article

VL - 41

SP - 39

EP - 54

JO - Cambrian Law Review

JF - Cambrian Law Review

SN - 0084-8328

ER -