Joel R. Hlavaty


Hypnosis is a method of therapy which has been utilized by society for quite some time. Recently, it has gained popularity as a new device to be used in the trial setting. Although it is a legitimate method of therapy in the medical and psychological professions, in the hands of attorneys and the legal system it takes on a whole new life. This new life is plagued with questions of admissibility, reliability and suggestibility. This comment will examine these questions and the use of hypnosis in the various stages of trial. This paper will show that some courts hold such evidence to be per se inadmissible, whereas other courts hold it admissible if reliability is shown. The use of hypnosis in a limited setting appears to be the better approach.