Barefoot v. Estelle (1983)
Prediction of future dangerousness
Thomas A. Barefoot burned down a bar and shot and killed a police officer who was investigating the arson. Barefoot was convicted by the jury of capital murder of a police officer. During the death penalty phase of the case, the state used psychiatric testimony to demonstrate that Barefoot posed a threat to society in the future. Specifically, the state had Drs. John Holbrook and James Grigson review a hypothetical fact situation based on evidence from the case and asked each of the doctors if the convicted individual would commit violent acts in the future or would pose a threat to society. Both doctors testified that the criminal would be a continued threat to society. In fact, Dr. Grigson concluded that there was a “one hundred percent and absolute” probability that Barefoot would commit violent acts in the future and thus pose a continued threat to society. The judge sentenced Thomas A. Barefoot to death. Barefoot...
References and Readings
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