Case Involving Caseworker Expert Testimony

In Dunnington v. State, 740 S.W.2d 899 (Tex. App.-El Paso 1987, pet. ref'd), the court reversed a defendant's conviction, concluding that expert testimony given by a "caseworker" during the guilt/innocence phase of trial had been improperly admitted. Id. at 902. According to the El Paso court, the caseworker's testimony regarding "belated outcry" and the "conditioning process" to which offenders subject their child victims were not issues "so foreign to the lay juror's experience that the lack of expert interpretation would deprive the evidence of full significance." Id. In Rachal v. State, 917 S.W.2d 799 (Tex. Crim. App. 1996), the court of criminal appeals upheld the exclusion of expert testimony regarding the ability of juries to accurately predict a defendant's future dangerousness. Id. at 817.