Washington Law Review


In State v. Greene, the Supreme Court of Washington held that expert testimony about Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) was not admissible to support an insanity or diminished-capacity defense. Even though the court acknowledged DID as a generally accepted medical disorder, the court reasoned that such testimony would not be helpful to the trier of fact, as required by Washington Evidence Rule (ER) 702, because the court has not established a specific standard for determining the legal responsibility of a defendant with multiple personalities. This Note argues that the Greene court had sufficient scientific evidence to establish a legal standard to determine the culpability of a defendant with DID. This Note further argues that expert testimony about DID would have been helpful to the jury under ER 702 and should have been admitted. Finally, this Note concludes that the Greene decision denied the defendant his constitutional right, under both federal and state jurisprudence, to present evidence in his defense.

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