Date of Award

Fall 2007

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Law (SJD)



First Advisor

Peter Keane

Second Advisor

Christian Okeke

Third Advisor

Sompong Sucharitkul


This dissertation examined the use of offender profiling evidence in criminal cases. The meaning, history, approaches and legal admissibility of offender profiling have been discussed. The introduction of offender profiling into the courtroom has been controversial, problematic and full of inconsistencies. This dissertation therefore, examined the central problems with offender profiling evidence, and answered such questions as - Is offender profiling impermissible character evidence? Who is qualified to give expert profiling evidence? Is offender profiling too prejudicial than probative? Is offender profiling an opinion on the ultimate issue? Is offender profiling sufficiently reliable as to be admissible? This dissertation has noted that in United States, there are inconsistencies in the court decisions on offender profiling evidence as a result of the three conflicting rules governing the admissibility of expert evidence. After a critical examination of the three rules, the adoption of one rule has been suggested. The Frye test standard combined with the Federal Rules of Evidence 702 provides the best admissibility standard. Many people are confused as to the appropriate discipline of offender profiling. This dissertation has therefore, presented a step by step analysis of the history and development of offender profiling. Offender profiling is a multi-disciplinary practice that cuts across many disciplines. At the moment, it is best described as an art with the potential of becoming a science. This dissertation concludes that offender profiling is not sufficiently reliable as to be admissible. It is too prejudicial than probative. This dissertation also concludes that there is an uneasy relationship, lack of unity and absence of sharing information amongst the different segments involved with offender profiling, and that this problem has limited the potential of offender profiling. Hence, some courts are not convinced as to the reliability and validity of this technique. Several recommendations have been made.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Criminal Law Commons