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Criminal Profile Testimony

Testimony about “criminal profiles” is unreliable and usually inadmissible. Because expert testimony can overlap with profile testimony and permissible opinion testimony, the court again emphasized that trial courts should limit any profile testimony. · State v. Prather, 429 S.C. 583 (2020)



Expert’s testimony was proper, and not inadmissible criminal profile testimony, where she did not testify to a personality or character trait that the defendant possessed in order to identify him as the perpetrator. · Underwood v. State, 309 S.C. 560 (1992)


Criminal profile testimony constitutes inadmissible propensity evidence. “While criminal profiling may have a legitimate function in law enforcement investigations, such information constitutes propensity evidence and, therefore, has no place in a trial to determine the guilt of a specific individual.” The Court of Appeals distinguished this case from Underwood v. State, 309 S.C. 560 (1992) because the expert in Underwood never sought to identify the defendant. However, in this case the expert testimony could lead a juror to no other inference but that the defendant committed the offense based on a criminal profile. · State v. Huckabee, 419 S.C. 414 (Ct. App. 2017)