Will Texas Eliminate Forensic Hypnosis?

March 12, 2019

The 86th legislative session in Texas has welcomed many new bills. One of the most controversial is the prohibition of forensic hypnosis from a criminal courtroom proposed by State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa. You may have seen examples of forensic hypnosis in television dramas such as C.S.I or The Long Island Medium. This practice may be popular for T.V. rankings, but in the criminal justice system forensic hypnosis can lead to false convictions.

Texas has one of the most developed forensic hypnosis programs in the country. The Forensic Investigator Certification Program allows police officers and consultants to “access” the lost memories of witnesses. Devotees of forensic hypnosis will claim the practice is a “relaxation tool,” which allows witnesses and victims to recall what they’ve seen.

Cases of Forensic Hypnosis

There have been a few cases where forensic hypnosis was successful. For example, Lawrence Singleton was discovered by forensic hypnosis for the crime of raping and mutilating a 15-year-old girl named Mary Vincent. However, there is no scientific basis behind forensic hypnosis. While there have been some successes, the majority of forensic hypnosis attempts lead to false accusations.

Clarence Moore is an example of forensic hypnosis gone wrong. The New Jersey man spent 15 years in prison for a rape he never committed because of forensic hypnosis. There was no forensic evidence in his case with the exception of hypnosis. The victim was unable to see her attacker’s face clearly until she “accessed” her memories through forensic hypnosis.

Recently, the third circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia dismissed Moore’s conviction. After over a decade of incarceration, Moore was finally released. He had lost his business, his marriage and was unable to see his children grow up because forensic hypnosis was still considered admissible in court.

Texas and Forensic Hypnosis

Two death row inmates in Texas are fighting back against forensic hypnosis. One of them is Kosoul Chanthakoummane who was convicted of brutally stabbing realtor Sarah Walker to death. He was found guilty because of a sketch released from a hypnotized witness. The other death row inmate is Charles Don Flores, who was convicted of killing Elizabeth “Betty” Black. He was also found guilty because a hypnotized witness recognized him running from the scene.

Both men have been sentenced to death but have been able to delay their execution dates. Their defense has argued for new trials because forensic hypnosis is considered to be “junk science,” and they’re not wrong.

Forensic hypnosis has never been verified in a scientific setting. The debate regarding “repressed memories” has never been fully validated but has been upheld by devoted believers. The program itself is rather informal and quick. It only takes 32 hours to become an investigator, and 40 hours to become a certified forensic investigator. The inconsistency of the forensic hypnosis field has led to half of the U.S. adopting “per se inadmissibility rules,” which bars anyone from using forensic hypnosis as admissible evidence.

Legislation in Texas to Stop Forensic Hypnosis

The bill proposed by Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa would eliminate forensic hypnosis from the court. Any testimony obtained by hypnosis would be considered inadmissible. This would be good news for inmates wrongly accused by hypnosis such as Chanthakoummane and Flores.

Senator Hinojosa’s bill was introduced on February 2nd, so only time will tell. If it passes, the new standard could release many people who were wrongly convicted due to forensic hypnosis. It would also deter law enforcement agencies from relying on forensic hypnosis “experts” when they’re stuck on a case. Not only this, but it would stop funneling resources into a practice which has for so long been considered to be “junk science.”

This blog was last updated on March 12th, 2019.


Use the form to submit your request for a free consultation.

*Use of this form does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

Driving While Intoxicated (Blood Draw .16)
Client had bond forfeited while case was pending for not being able to attend trial when Judge ordered us to be there due to his teaching job at Texas A&M University. When he finally...read more
Read More Case Results
Tyler Flood & Associates
2019 Washington Ave. #300
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 224-5529
Get Directions to Our Office


Robert Henderson
Robert Henderson
December 22, 2023.
I want to give a special thanks to Tyler Flood & Associates. Getting charged with a dwi was the worst feeling and situation I've been in, but the professionalism and confidence that Tyler Fllod & Associates showed throughout my case definitely helped me get some sleep at night. Then when they called and let me know that my case was dismissed and all charges dropped was incredible. Once again, thanks to Tyler Flood & Associates.
Zeta Ze
Zeta Ze
December 15, 2023.
Houston DWI/DUI Tyler Flood is the best lawyer to represent you in a DWI/DUI case. Mr. Flood saved my license from being suspended in a non-refusal weekend. In a case, where I feel I did everything wrong and had 0 chance, in my opinion, for a dismissal, my only hope and chance was to hire Mr. Flood and his firm. Having had previous experience with Mr. Flood's firm, I felt that if I had any percentage chance of a dismissal, I had to go with Mr. Flood again. As I am writing this review, I'm still in shock and awe in how Mr. Flood was able to get a dismissal before trial completely started. Mr. Flood knew the law better than the arresting officer and Prosecutors. Even the judge was impressed and paid him a compliment after the dismissal. In my opinion, if you want a fighting chance, hire Mr. Flood and his firm. Mr. Flood genuinely cares about all his clients and does not merely see you as a customer. He and his team are always working on your case. Trust his process. They are absolutely the BEST.
briana Munoz
briana Munoz
December 5, 2023.
Thanks to Tyler Flood I am able to continue my life, him and his partners were amazing in guiding me throughout this hard process. Tyler and his team got me a CASE DISMISSED on my DWI case. His team kept in contact with me on every small detail about my case while being able to thoroughly explain every possibility for me. I also never had to step foot in a courtroom! Him and his team had my back every step of the way and never made me feel like it was not going to be okay. Tyler flood is the BEST DWI/DUI attorney no doubt, please consider letting him take your case if you are ever in need of an amazing lawyer.
October 19, 2023.
When I found myself in a precarious situation and didn’t know where or who to turn to I was recommended to Tyler Flood and Associates. After researching and reading many reviews I decided to hire and retain Flood and Associates services. This was one of the best decisions I made in my life, not only were they there for me in every dim moment and never too busy to answer every question I had whether it was frivolous or not, his expertise was demonstrated to me during my trial. So much so that two other defendants asked for his name and number during my trial. He fought tooth-and-nail for me and he will for you too. I’m only rating him five stars because I can’t rate him any higher. I’ll thank him for the rest of my life.
October 12, 2023.
Houston DWI/DUI Attorney Tyler Flood is the best in the business! Tyler and his team made the entire process stress free for what is a very stressful situation. From winning the first administrative hearing (to retain my license/avoid a breathalyzer) to getting the dismissal before trial even started. He is truly the best in the business!
Cesar Ricardez
Cesar Ricardez
October 3, 2023.
I hired Tyler Flood the day after my DUI arrest after reading glowing reviews about him and I couldn’t be happier that I did so. He took care of both my cases to keep my driving rights and the misdemeanor DUI charge in court. I never even had to appear in court or do anything, him and his team took care of anything while I carried on with my life and would just get updates whenever they appeared in court on my behalf. At the end, my driver license was never suspended and they got my case dismissed. Lesson learned, I don’t wish anyone to get in my situation but if you do, don’t hesitate to hire Tyler Flood and his team, they are extremely professional and they go for the win. No deal, no probation, got it all dismissed.
September 14, 2023.
Tyler Flood, Houston DWI/DUI attorney is fantastic! He is professional, smart and takes pride in getting the best possible outcome for you. This was my second DWI and I didn't want to take chances. I found him on Google and I too was in disbelief with all the 5.0 star reviews. Upon meeting him I quickly discovered it was all true. A lawyer with his own science lab WTH??????? Long story short he got my case dismissed without going to court. You can not put a price on freedom. The only downside is I only hope to need his services this one time. 😀 Thanks again Mr. Flood God bless.
John Sellers
John Sellers
August 31, 2023.
Houston DUI/DWI attorney Tyler Flood is the guy to go to!! I started my journey with these guys on August 4th of this year, my case was dismissed before the end of the month!! Well worth it!! They are organized and efficient, kept me informed of what was going on and answered all my questions. I have shared with my friends and definitely recommend to anyone.
August 29, 2023.
Houston DUI/DWI attorney Tyler Flood is an outstanding attorney and person. If you are in need of a lawyer who understands the panic and sheer fear a family feels when this happens in their lives,Tyler Flood is the attorney for you. He has an outstanding educational background, his office includes an on-site, state-of-the-arts laboratory, and he is surrounded with a legal team to provide background and research data for him to be successful in representing you. He is a One-of-Kind, highly accomplished attorney that will promptly respond to you throughout the duration of your case. Seriously, this guy NEVER sleeps! Tyler Flood understands the importance of a person’s reputation and the seriousness of a DUI/DWI charge. If you choose to work with him, he will work with you to be successful! Tyler Flood is AWESOME!
Trey Perrett
Trey Perrett
August 14, 2023.
Words cannot express what a dominating lawyer Tyler Flood and his team are. I ran into some trouble in 2021 and I was just getting my family, career ,and life together. I was completely scared of what the repercussions could be for the rest of my life. I asked civil layers who they recommend and repeatedly Tyler Flood’s name was given to me. At my first appointment, I was overcome with anxiety of what will happen next. Tyler put me at ease immediately. He believed I had a case. They were great on response time and helping me navigate the often confusing legal system. It’s a long process to have a case brought to trial but I knew I had an amazing lawyer and his team in my corner. Finally, I received the call that my case was dismissed, and I was cleared of all charges. I could not be happier with the way he and his colleagues handled my case and brought home the W. I strongly recommend having Tyler Flood in your corner because he delivers.
Disclaimer: The information on this website does NOT constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice, then retain an attorney to discuss the facts of your case. If you would like to discuss your case with an attorney at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc., then please contact us to schedule a consultation. Until we specifically agree to act for you on a matter, you should not provide us with any confidential information or material.
Copyright © 2024 Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram