The Prohibition of Ultimate Opinions: A Misguided Enterprise

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During the 1980s, a coterie of scholars attempted to limit the scope of expert testimony by curtailing ultimate opinions. As its foremost proponent, Melton continues to champion this prohibition. This brief commentary attempts to understand the Meltonian perspective and its intolerance of ultimate and penultimate opinions. Issues include the ad populum thesis, the non-expert exclusion, and a usurpation hypothesis. Beyond Melton, the legal landscape of ultimate opinions is considered. Finally, we examine the untoward effects of categorically prohibiting ultimate opinion testimony.

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Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice

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