Now comes the defendant in the above-entitled matter and moves that the Court allow him to show to the jury a 5-minute segment of an audio-visual tape of a study performed by Dr. Michael Lewis, Professor of Pediatric Psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Rutgers, New Jersey.
Specifically the study of 3-year-olds, conducted by researchers at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, suggests that children learn to distort the truth very early. In the study, 3-year-old children were seated in an empty room facing a one-way mirror. Next, a researcher came into the room, placed a toy on a table behind the child and told the youngster not to peek. The researcher then left. Five minutes later, or sooner if the child looked at the object, the researcher returned. "Did you peek?" the child was asked.
Almost all -- 90 percent -- of the children looked at the toy, but the majority of kids, about two-thirds, concealed the fact that they had peeked. Girls were more likely than boys to lie. One third of the children in the study lied outright to the experimenter. Another third simply didn't answer the question. "They pretended that they didn't hear the question," said Michael Lewis, director of the Institute for Child Development at Robert Wood Johnson and the lead author of the study. "They were sort of hoping that it would go away."
When researchers studied children aged from 3 to 6, they found that older children were better at resisting the temptation not to peek at the toy, but those who did look were more apt to lie about it. By age 6, boys were lying just as much as girls in the study.
"Both boys and girls end up lying, but girls seem to have started doing it earlier than boys," Lewis said. "My guess is that girls are learning about social rules earlier, and perhaps even better, than boys."
Defendant wants to use the film during cross-examination of the Commonwealth's expert, whom the defendant expects will say "Children don't lie," and ask the expert to comment on the audio-visual study.
Therefore there will be no prejudice to the Commonwealth should Defendant be allowed to show the film. It is only roughly 5 minutes in length.
WHEREFORE, Defendant is entitled
as part of his defense should the Commonwealth's expert state or infer
that children do not lie.