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289. Hypnosis of a Prosecution Witness

Hypnosis of a witness should not be employed unless there is a clear need for additional information, and it appears that hypnosis can be useful in aiding the witness to recall such information. A witness should never be hypnotized unless the witness gives written consent, and the witness should always be given an explanation of the nature of hypnosis before being hypnotized.

Only a psychologist/psychiatrist trained in forensic hypnosis should be allowed to hypnotize a witness. See Adams, supra. During the interrogation, leading questions should be avoided to ensure against the possibility of the improper suggestion of answers to the subject.

Interrogation made when the witness is subject to hypnosis should be videotaped, and a transcript should be prepared in addition to any sound recording. A copy of the videotape should be made to guard against the loss of or damage to the original tape.

Updated January 22, 2020