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A Layman's Views on Law Reform from other realms of scientific activity that scientists have in some measure knowledge of the actual truth, and also intimate acquaintance with the limits of knowledge, beyond which truth has not been ascertained; but in the courts they see scientists hotly contending as to what the truth is in a given region of supposed fact which lies quite within the limits of knowledge. EXPERT TESTIMONY In two classes of cases these hot dis putes between men of science, enlisted on opposing sides of the same case, have brought great discredit on judicial procedure, and on men of science as candid students of the truth. These two classes of cases are patent cases and criminal cases involving testimony about insanity. Remedies have been suggested, but not adopted. The em ployment by the court of official experts is the most promising of these remedies. Another proposal is a limitation of the number of experts that shall be called in a given case. A better remedy might perhaps be found in a reformed public sentiment concerning expert testimony within the professions of the engineer, chemist, physicist, and physician or surgeon. It ought to be a disgrace to members of any of these professions to appear in court, for money, to set forth so much of the truth as tells in favor of one side of the case, while suppressing all parts of the truth which support the contention of the other side. In other words, it ought to be made clear in all those professions that honor requires their members to appear in court only as impartial expositors of scientific truth so far as it is ascertained. The responsibility of the medical pro fession in regard to the plea of insanity in criminal cases is heavy. Members of the profession are largely responsible for giving so-called expert testimony which


goes quite beyond the limits of present knowledge concerning mental disease, and for inverting exculpatory terms, such as "brain storm," for instance, which are more verbal insinuations drawn from obscure regions where facts are few and theories vague. In these shadowy regions it is easy to procure opposing or, indeed, contradictory medi cal opinions in great abundance: and unscrupulous lawyers are all too ready to avail themselves of such facilities. It is some comfort that the diagnosis of mental disease has within ten years be come somewhat surer, chiefly because much new knowledge has been acquired concerning the relations of general paresis and syphilis to insanity. The medical profession shares with legisla tive bodies the responsibility for the frequent absence of proper laws for the confinement of the homicidal insane, and with police departments the respon sibility of the non-enforcement of the existing laws on that subject. It should be said, however, in defense of the alien ists — the class of medical experts whose testimony oftenest excites the public's criticism — that the amount of expert testimony on insanity is very small compared with the great mass of medical testimony in cases arising from per sonal injury, and that the proportion of defective or rash testimony is smaller among the alienists who are specialists, than among the general practitioners who appear in the personal injury cases. Furthermore, the alienists seem to have proved from the records of hospitals, asylums and prisons that at least ten insane persons are made convicts for one criminal who escapes punishment on the plea of insanity. THE The police timony from diately after

"THIRD DEGREE" processes for extorting tes supposed criminals imme their arrest, by incessant