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Full-Text Articles in Law

Scientific Excellence In The Forensic Science Community, Alice R. Isenberg, Cary T. Oien May 2018

Scientific Excellence In The Forensic Science Community, Alice R. Isenberg, Cary T. Oien

Fordham Law Review Online

This Article was prepared as a companion to the Fordham Law Review Reed Symposium on Forensic Expert Testimony, Daubert, and Rule 702, held on October 27, 2017, at Boston College School of Law. The Symposium took place under the sponsorship of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules. For an overview of the Symposium, see Daniel J. Capra, Foreword: Symposium on Forensic Testimony, Daubert, and Rule 702, 86 Fordham L. Rev. 1459 (2018).


Scientific Validity And Error Rates: A Short Response To The Pcast Report, Ted Robert Hunt May 2018

Scientific Validity And Error Rates: A Short Response To The Pcast Report, Ted Robert Hunt

Fordham Law Review Online

This Article was prepared as a companion to the Fordham Law Review Reed Symposium on Forensic Expert Testimony, Daubert, and Rule 702, held on October 27, 2017, at Boston College School of Law. The Symposium took place under the sponsorship of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules. For an overview of the Symposium, see Daniel J. Capra, Foreword: Symposium on Forensic Testimony, Daubert, and Rule 702, 86 Fordham L. Rev. 1459 (2018).


The Reliability Of The Adversarial System To Assess The Scientific Validity Of Forensic Evidence, Andrew D. Goldsmith May 2018

The Reliability Of The Adversarial System To Assess The Scientific Validity Of Forensic Evidence, Andrew D. Goldsmith

Fordham Law Review Online

This Article was prepared as a companion to the Fordham Law Review Reed Symposium on Forensic Expert Testimony, Daubert, and Rule 702, held on October 27, 2017, at Boston College School of Law. The Symposium took place under the sponsorship of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules. For an overview of the Symposium, see Daniel J. Capra, Foreword: Symposium on Forensic Testimony, Daubert, and Rule 702, 86 Fordham L. Rev. 1459 (2018).


Debunked, Discredited, But Still Defended: Why Prosecutors Resist Challenges To Bad Science And Some Suggestions For Crafting Remedies For Wrongful Conviction Based On Changed Science, Aviva A. Orenstein Jan 2018

Debunked, Discredited, But Still Defended: Why Prosecutors Resist Challenges To Bad Science And Some Suggestions For Crafting Remedies For Wrongful Conviction Based On Changed Science, Aviva A. Orenstein

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Flawed science has significantly contributed to wrongful convictions. Courts struggle with how to address such convictions when the mistaken science (such as bogus expert claims about the differences between accidental fires and intentionally set ones) significantly affected the guilty verdict but there is no DNA evidence to directly exonerate the accused. My short piece explores why prosecutors often defend bad science. Mistakes in science tend to serve the prosecution, but there are other more subtle factors that explain prosecutors’ reluctance to address flawed forensic testimony. Such reluctance may arise from fondness for the status quo and a resistance to subverting ...


Cabining Judicial Discretion Over Forensic Evidence With A New Special Relevance Rule, Emma F.E. Shoucair Jan 2018

Cabining Judicial Discretion Over Forensic Evidence With A New Special Relevance Rule, Emma F.E. Shoucair

Michigan Law Review

Modern forensic evidence suffers from a number of flaws, including insufficient scientific grounding, exaggerated testimony, lack of uniform best practices, and an inefficacious standard for admission that regularly allows judges to admit scientifically unsound evidence. This Note discusses these problems, lays out the current landscape of forensic science reform, and suggests the addition of a new special relevance rule to the Federal Rules of Evidence (and similar rules in state evidence codes). This proposed rule would cabin judicial discretion to admit non-DNA forensic evidence by barring prosecutorial introduction of such evidence in criminal trials absent a competing defense expert or ...


Scientific Evidence And Forensic Science Since Daubert: Maine Decides To Sit Out On The Dance, Thomas L. Bohan Dec 2017

Scientific Evidence And Forensic Science Since Daubert: Maine Decides To Sit Out On The Dance, Thomas L. Bohan

Maine Law Review

In 1993, the Supreme Court of the United States stated that with the federal adoption of statutory rules of evidence in 1975, the common law rule for determining admissibility of scientific testimony was superseded, and that thenceforth admissibility of scientific testimony was to be determined solely by Federal Rule of Evidence 702 (Rule 702). The Frye standard had been adopted in one form or another by most of the federal circuits and by many of the state courts during the 70 years preceding Daubert. Referred to as the “general acceptance” standard, the Frye standard--although adopted in a variety of forms--had ...


Evidence Of Child Abuse: Inferring The Causes Of Effects, Stephen E. Fienberg Mar 2017

Evidence Of Child Abuse: Inferring The Causes Of Effects, Stephen E. Fienberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A statistician's take on evidence of child abuse.


Bias, Subjectivity, And Wrongful Conviction, Katherine Judson Mar 2017

Bias, Subjectivity, And Wrongful Conviction, Katherine Judson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A talk about bias, subjectivity and wrongful convictions.


Changing The Culture Of Disclosure And Forensics, Valena Beety Feb 2017

Changing The Culture Of Disclosure And Forensics, Valena Beety

Washington and Lee Law Review Online

This Essay responds to Professor Brandon Garrett’s Constitutional Regulation of Forensic Evidence, and, in particular, his identification of the dire need to change the culture of disclosing forensic evidence. My work on forensics is—similarly to Garrett’s—rooted in both scholarship and litigation of wrongful convictions. From this perspective, I question whether prosecutors fully disclose forensics findings and whether defense attorneys understand these findings and their impact on a client’s case. To clarify forensic findings for the entire courtroom, this Essay suggests increased pre-trial discovery and disclosure of forensic evidence and forensic experts. Forensic analysts largely work ...


The Crime Lab In The Age Of The Genetic Panopticon, Brandon L. Garrett Jan 2017

The Crime Lab In The Age Of The Genetic Panopticon, Brandon L. Garrett

Michigan Law Review

Review of Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice by Adam Benforado, Inside the Cell: The Dark Side of Forensic DNA by Erin E. Murphy, and Cops in Lab Coats: Curbing Wrongful Convictions Through Independent Forensic Laboratories by Sandra Guerra Thompson.


The New Pcast Report To The President Of The United States On Forensic Science, Robert M. Sanger Oct 2016

The New Pcast Report To The President Of The United States On Forensic Science, Robert M. Sanger

Robert M. Sanger

The President of the United States requested an in-depth report from the President’s Council of Advisors
on Science and Technology (known as PCAST) in 2015 to “consider whether there are additional steps that
could usefully be taken on the scientific side to strengthen the forensic science disciplines and ensure the validity of forensic evidence used in the Nation’s legal system.” The PCAST Report was issued September 20, 2016, specifically referring to criminal court applications of forensic science. The report has implications for civil
litigators as well as criminal. It also has implications for judges, particularly those at the ...


Constitutional Regulation Of Forensic Evidence, Brandon L. Garrett Jun 2016

Constitutional Regulation Of Forensic Evidence, Brandon L. Garrett

Washington and Lee Law Review

No abstract provided.


Face-To-Face With Facial Recognition Evidence: Admissibility Under The Post-Crawford Confrontation Clause, Joseph Clarke Celentino Jan 2016

Face-To-Face With Facial Recognition Evidence: Admissibility Under The Post-Crawford Confrontation Clause, Joseph Clarke Celentino

Michigan Law Review

In Crawford v. Washington, the Supreme Court announced a major change in Confrontation Clause doctrine, abandoning a decades-old framework that focused on the common law principles of hearsay analysis: necessity and reliability. The new doctrine, grounded in an originalist interpretation of the Sixth Amendment, requires courts to determine whether a particular statement is testimonial. But the Court has struggled to present a coherent definition of the term testimonial. In its subsequent decisions, the Court illustrated that its new Confrontation Clause doctrine could be used to bar forensic evidence, including laboratory test results, if the government failed to produce the technician ...


Forensic Evidence And The Court Of Appeal For England And Wales, Lissa Griffin Jan 2015

Forensic Evidence And The Court Of Appeal For England And Wales, Lissa Griffin

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

The Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal has extensively analyzed the role of forensic evidence. In doing so, the court has grappled with the admissibility and reliability of a broad range of forensic evidence, from DNA and computer forensics to medical and psychological proof, to more outlying subjects like facial mapping, fiber analysis, or voice identification. The court has analyzed these subjects from two perspectives: the admissibility of such evidence in the lower courts and the admissibility of such evidence as fresh evidence on appeal. In both contexts, the court has taken a practical approach to admitting forensic proof ...


Putting The Microscope On Crime Labs: The Effects Of Evidence Complexity And Laboratory Type On Jurors' Perceptions Of Forensic Evidence, Miliaikeala S.J. Heen Aug 2014

Putting The Microscope On Crime Labs: The Effects Of Evidence Complexity And Laboratory Type On Jurors' Perceptions Of Forensic Evidence, Miliaikeala S.J. Heen

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

An experiment was conducted to test the effects of evidence complexity and laboratory type on jurors' perceptions of forensic evidence. The study specifically focused on three types of labs: public labs, private labs, and "corporate labs." Public labs are managed by a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, where evidence is usually analyzed internally at an agency. Private labs are those that have been formed as private businesses to provide services to federal, state, and local crime labs with overflow work. Corporate labs are managed by major retail corporations, and primarily service the needs of their store businesses, but ...


The New Rules For Admissibility Of Expert Testimony: Part Ii, Robert Sanger Oct 2013

The New Rules For Admissibility Of Expert Testimony: Part Ii, Robert Sanger

Robert M. Sanger

As described in the last Criminal Justice column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer magazine, the California Supreme Court’s opinion in Sargon Enterprises v. University of Southern California, 55 Cal. 4th 747, 149 Cal. Rptr. 3d 614 (2012) made it clear that California is now, (and perhaps unsuspectingly has been for some time), a Daubert jurisdiction. This requires the trial court be the “gatekeeper” and make a determination as to the admissibility of scientific or expert testimony and to determine the limits of any testimony, if it is introduced. The Court held that there are essentially three criteria: The first ...


The New Rules For Admissibility Of Expert Testimony: Part I, Robert Sanger Sep 2013

The New Rules For Admissibility Of Expert Testimony: Part I, Robert Sanger

Robert M. Sanger

In a previous series of articles for this magazine, I took the position that California really was a Daubert jurisdiction in the sense that Kelly and Frye and thenexisting case law required that the court be the “gatekeeper” and make a determination as to: 1) whether a science (or area of expertise) was a science (or area of expertise); 2) whether the witness was a scientist (or expert); 3) whether the data was reliable; and then, and only then, 4) what a true scientist (or expert) could say based on the science and based on the reliable data. In the ...


The Use And Misuse Of High-Tech Evidence By Prosecutors: Ethical And Evidentiary Issues, Robert Aronson, Jacqueline Mcmurtrie Jan 2007

The Use And Misuse Of High-Tech Evidence By Prosecutors: Ethical And Evidentiary Issues, Robert Aronson, Jacqueline Mcmurtrie

Articles

This essay first addresses the ethical and evidentiary standards for the emerging use of high-tech computer-generated animations and computer-assisted closing arguments. Next, this essay considers the same questions within the context of forensic DNA evidence. Third, this essay considers the ethics of prosecutors' use of such evidence and the consequences for the misuse of this evidence. Finally, this essay suggests remedies to ethical problems facing prosecutors in their use of this kind of evidence.


Evaluating Scientific And Forensic Evidence, Richard H. Underwood Jul 2000

Evaluating Scientific And Forensic Evidence, Richard H. Underwood

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Professor Underwood offers a critique of the present state of scientific and forensic evidence. In the context of discussing four challenges to the field, the author arms the practitioner with strategies and tactics for making effective use of scientific and forensic testimony.


Dna "Profiles" - The Problems Of Technology Transfer, Michael J. Dirusso Jan 1990

Dna "Profiles" - The Problems Of Technology Transfer, Michael J. Dirusso

NYLS Journal of Human Rights

No abstract provided.


Scientific Investigation And Defendants' Rights, B. J. George Jr. Nov 1958

Scientific Investigation And Defendants' Rights, B. J. George Jr.

Michigan Law Review

Advances in science, medicine and industry have made much of the world a more pleasant place in which to live. In general more men are living a physically more satisfying life in more comfortable surroundings than preceding generations. But with this has come a parallel increase in criminality to the point that the term "crime wave" is heard with increasing frequency. Many crimes are facilitated in their commission by adaption or application of new scientific discoveries by criminal elements. A natural consequence is that already overburdened police departments turn as quickly as is financially possible to new scientific techniques in ...