Amicus: The Myth of the Neutral Expert

In the context of a capital trial, is there any such thing?

Listen to Episode 67 of Slate’s Amicus:

The Supreme Court has slowed Arkansas’ unprecedented rush to execute eight men in 11 days, pending a decision in McWilliams v. Dunn. At issue in the case is whether James McWilliams, an indigent defendant whose mental health was a significant factor at his capital trial, was entitled to an independent psychological expert to testify on his behalf. We discuss the case with Stephen Bright, longtime president of the Southern Center for Human Rights who represented McWilliams at this week’s oral arguments.


We also sit down with Norm Eisen, co-founder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, to discuss the ongoing anti-corruption litigation against President Trump. Last week, CREW added two new plaintiffs to its lawsuit, which alleges that Trump’s business interests put him in violation of the Constitution’s foreign and domestic emoluments clauses. Eisen reflects on the ethical issues of the Trump administration’s first 100 days, why the president’s tax returns still matter, and what he believes is the single most concerning ethics violation of the new commander in chief.

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Podcast production by Tony Field. Our intern is Camille Mott.