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Evidence Commons

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Judges

2009

Hon. Donald E. Shelton

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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

Twenty-First Century Forensic Science Challenges For Trial Judges In Criminal Cases: Where The "Polybutadiene" Meets The "Bitumen", Hon. Donald E. Shelton Jan 2009

Twenty-First Century Forensic Science Challenges For Trial Judges In Criminal Cases: Where The "Polybutadiene" Meets The "Bitumen", Hon. Donald E. Shelton

Hon. Donald E. Shelton

This artice discusses the challenges faced by trial judges in crimnal cases in fulfilling their Daubert "gatekeeping" role in the face of rapid advancements in forensic science. Admissibility questions for various forms of scientific evidence are reviewed, from DNA to fingerprints to social science "syndrome" evidence. The article discusses the pretrial issues presented by DNA databases, search issues and limitations problems as well as the impact of forensic science developments on juror expectations. Finally, forensic science issues regarding trial conduct are discussed, including voir dire, arguments and jury instructions,