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Forensic Uses of Hypnosis

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Yasmeen Abdelaal

on 7 February 2016

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Transcript of Forensic Uses of Hypnosis

Forensic Uses of Hypnosis
Presenters:Yasmeen Abdelaal, Lisa Ike, & Molly Kalisch
Australian physician Franz Anton Mesmer (1700s)
illness was due to magnetic fluids in the body being unbalanced
used magnets and other hypnotic states to cure people
the term "mesmerized" came from his name
Milton H. Erikson (1901-1980)
psychiatrist who used hypnotherapy in practice
1958- American Medical Association and American Psychological Association recognize hypnotherapy
1995- National Institute of Health started recommending hypnosis as a treatment for chronic pain
(University of Maryland Medical Center)
Different Uses of Hypnosis
Hypnosis for Self-Confidence
What is Hypnosis?
History of Hypnosis
Stop Smoking with Ellen
How Hypnosis Works
Weight loss
Fear of flying
Public speaking
Where can I go for hypnotherapy?
Hypnosis Chicago
chicagohypnosis.com or 312-664-7027
Kimber Closson Hypnosis
Chicago Hypnosis Center
Hypnosis in Court
Rock v. State of Arkansas, 1987
Defendant charged with manslaughter in shooting of husband
Was unable to remember details of time of shooting prior to hypnosis, post hypnosis claimed finger was not on trigger which was consistent with gun inspection
Was limited in testimony by per se exclusion, later appealed and rejected
Mills v. State of Arkansas, 1995
Defendant was charged with capital murder, kidnapping, and rape
Victim's sister went under hypnosis as a witness, State objected due to her inability to recall what she said under hypnotic trance
Defense counsel was not allowed to show transcript of hypnotherapy session which showed conflicting statements
Under hypnotic trance, allegedly said "they shot her" rather than "he shot her"
Witness does not recall making the statement under the hypnotic trance
Defendant was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole
Zani v. State of Texas, 1988
Appellant filed a petition for review of trial where he was convicted of murder with malice
Claimed that under 6th Amendment he was entitled to have counsel present during hypnosis of the sole witness
Post-hypnosis, he was able to pick out the suspect from a lineup of photographs
Testimony was deemed admissible in court
Tape recording was ruled to be not overtly suggestive
Weathers had no prior knowledge of other case facts prior to hypnosis
Two other people were present during the hypnosis, but were deemed to not exert influence over the witness
People v. Sutton, 2009
Defendant was found guilty of seven counts of murder for sexual assault & fatal shooting of a woman
Witness made statements to officers on scene and during transportation in an ambulance, was hypnotized before second trial
Trial court
Witness can only testify about prehypnotic events
Suppressed out-of-court statements to officers
State Supreme Court
Affirmed the appellate court's judgment because the prehypnotic testimony in the record was not in dispute
Ruled that out-of-court statements to officers were admissible
Because he was unable to differentiate between pre-hypnotic and hypnotic statements
Rules of Evidence
Rule 612. Writing Used to Refresh Memory - Mills v. State of Arkansas, 1988
If witness uses a writing/transcript to refresh memory while testifying or before testifying, adverse party is entitled to have the writing & writing cannot contain unrelated matters
If not compliant, court may strike the testimony or declare a mistrial
Rule 801. Definitions, 802. Hearsay Rule, 803. Hearsay Exceptions - Zani v. State of Texas, 1988 & People v. Sutton, 2009
Hearsay - does not include prior statement by witness
Not admissible in court
Exceptions include statements made during medical treatment, do not include statement of memory or belief to prove the fact remembered or believed unless it relates to the declarant's will
Anti-Social Conduct
Crimes committed on hypnotized subjects
These specific crimes usually consist of sexual seduction or undue influence for economic gain
Since the mid-1800’s, many US courts have dealt with fewer than 25% cases; However they are still prevalent and allegations of hypnotic seduction continue to appear against professional and lay hypnotists
Crimes committed by hypnotized subjects
In these cases defendants plead that they should not be punished because that were acting under the hypnotic instructions of another
Court Cases
People V. Worthington, 1894
Mother convicted of murdering her lover claimed she committed the act under her husband’s “hypnotic power”. The court rejected her plead and argued there was not enough evidence to support her claim
People V. Baldi, 1974
Claimed he murdered his wife in a self- induced trance brought about by his fixation on pictures of women with a “prominent breast".
Rake v. Mohammed, 2005
Sarah Mohammed had been accused of involvement in a murder attempt. Expert evidence given by Dr. Mottahedin and Professor Hayward at the trial suggested that Sarah Mohammed had become a slave to her husband as a result of being hypnotized and subsequently brainwashed by him
Court Cases, cont'd
Patroski v. Pressley Ridge, 2008
Pennsylvania woman, Susan Patroski has filed a suit against the CEO of a non-profit children therapy services company, alleging that he sexually assaulted her during hypnosis sessions on his “magic couch”
Mr. Finnel denied these allegations; he then fired her when she confronted him with the allegations
Federal Rules of Evidence. (2012, December 1). United States Courts. Retrieved November 1, 2013, from http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/rules/rules-evidence.pdf
Mills v. Arkansas, 322 Ark. 647, 910 (S. W. 2d 682 Ark 1995)
People v. Sutton, 233 Ill. 2d 89, 908 (N.E. 2d 50 Illinois 2009)
Rock v. Arkansas, 483 U.S. 44, 107 (S. Ct. 2704, 97 L. Ed. 2d 37 1987)
Zani v. Texas, 758 S. W. 2d 233 (Tex. Crim. App 1988)
Does Hypnosis Really Work?. (2009, July 8). YouTube. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from
What is Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy?. (2013, May 3). YouTube. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from
Want Girls to ALWAYS Love You? Hypnotist Marc Savard Shows You How!. (2013, July 18). YouTube. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from
Hypnotherapy. (n.d.). University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/tre
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