Part I of this Comment discusses the basic structure and purpose of the MMPI-2, the development and evolution of the MMPI into the MMPI-2, and reliability and validity issues. Part II provides a basic understanding of the correct administration, scoring, and interpretation of the MMPI-2 and describes standards for expert testimony. Part III presents a historical overview of the use of the MMPI-2 in court. The different types of cases in which the MMPI-2 is used are discussed along with the many applications of its use. Part IV describes the legal standards of admissibility of scientific evidence in court and how the MMPI-2 fares under each standard. Part V analyzes the use of the MMPI-2 in murder trials, including the prevalence and application of the MMPI-2 in murder cases. Part VI provides a thorough discussion of some of the misapplications of the MMPI-2 in murder cases. Part VII recommends possible solutions to the issues raised by the use of the MMPI-2 in murder trials. Part VIII of this Comment concludes that the widespread use of the MMPI-2 in the legal arena necessitates that legal professionals be knowledgeable about the basic structure and process of the MMPI-2. Despite the sometimes negative reviews of the MMPI-2, it remains a valuable assessment tool for use in murder trials, when used correctly by both psychologists and legal professionals.
Tracy O'Connor Pennuto,
Murder and the MMPI-2: The Necessity of Knowledgeable Legal Professionals, 34 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.