Originally published in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, this research study reviews case law involving the use of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a defense in criminal cases. From these reviews, researchers have been able to draw numerous conclusions:
- Some appellate courts have determined that expert testimony on PTSD can meet both the Daubert and Frye standards for admissibility.
- Appellate courts have found PTSD defenses to be viable and compelling if an expert witness finds that there is a clear and direct connection between the defendant’s PTSD and the criminal act.
- PTSD dissociation has been successfully presented as arguments for self-defense, diminished capacity, and others mens rea defenses.
- Authors have made recommendations for the forensic evaluation of PTSD, although such methods have not been research based.