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Narrative Approaches in Psychological Autopsies: Suggestions for Methodologies and Training

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice Volume: 12 Issue: 2 Dated: March - April 2012 Pages: 124-146
Ronald K. Bullis, Ph.D., J.D., LPC
Date Published
April 2012
23 pages
The aim of this paper is to show how nattatives are persuasive to juries and shape the way trial strategy and tactics are formed and executed.
This paper consists of three sections. The first section will review the literature describing the role of narratives surrounding legal proceedings, psychological autopsy (PA) reports, and testimony. It describes the extensive role that narratives play in courts and with jury decisions as well as how narrative analyses comply with the law judges use to allow or disallow expert testimony. The second section will assert that narratives can play significant roles in both assessing investigative narrative and in testifying to the results of psychological autopsies. This describes how narratives and narrative analysis form the basis for effective investigations and effective testimony. The third section will suggest training tools and methods using narrative approaches. This article suggests methodologies and skill sets for narrative approaches to PA's in both the investigative and testimonial stages. (Published Abstract)