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Evidence

Scientific evidence

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Ultracrepidarianism In Forensic Science: The Hair Evidence Debacle, David H. Kaye Jan 2015

Ultracrepidarianism In Forensic Science: The Hair Evidence Debacle, David H. Kaye

Journal Articles

For over 130 years, scientific sleuths have been inspecting hairs under microscopes. Late in 2012, the FBI, the Innocence Project, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers joined forces to review thousands of microscopic hair comparisons performed by FBI examiners over several of those decades. The results have been astounding. Based on the first few hundred cases in which hairs were said to match, it appears that examiners “exceeded the limits of science” in over 90% of their reports or testimony. The disclosure of this statistic has led to charges that the FBI “faked an entire field of forensic ...


Confronting Science: Expert Evidence And The Confrontation Clause, David H. Kaye, Jennifer L. Mnookin Jan 2013

Confronting Science: Expert Evidence And The Confrontation Clause, David H. Kaye, Jennifer L. Mnookin

Journal Articles

In Crawford v Washington, the Supreme Court substantially changed its understanding of how the Confrontation Clause applies to hearsay evidence. Since then, the Court has issued three bitterly contested expert-evidence-related Confrontation Clause decisions, and each one has generated at least as many questions as answers. This article analyzes this trilogy of cases, especially the most recent, Williams v Illinois.

In Williams, the Court issued a bewildering array of opinions in which majority support for admitting the opinion of a DNA analyst about tests that she did not perform was awkwardly knitted together out of several incompatible doctrinal bases. The most ...


Revisiting 'Dreyfus': A More Complete Account Of A Trial By Mathematics, David H. Kaye Jan 2007

Revisiting 'Dreyfus': A More Complete Account Of A Trial By Mathematics, David H. Kaye

Journal Articles

Legal literature and case law depicts the infamous conviction of Alfred Dreyfus for treason and espionage in 1899 as a prime example of the irresistible power of even grossly fallacious mathematical demonstrations to overwhelm a legal tribunal. This essay shows that Dreyfus is not a case of mathematics run amok, unchecked and uncomprehended. To the contrary, the defects in the mathematical proof were dramatically exposed, and this evidence did not lead Dreyfus's judges to condemn him. This history undercuts the reliance of modern courts and commentators on Dreyfus as an indication or illustration of the alleged dangers of probability ...


How Good Is Good Enough?: Expert Evidence Under Daubert And Kuhmo, David H. Kaye, David L. Faigman, Michael J. Saks, Joseph Sanders Jan 2000

How Good Is Good Enough?: Expert Evidence Under Daubert And Kuhmo, David H. Kaye, David L. Faigman, Michael J. Saks, Joseph Sanders

Journal Articles

This essay is a response to Professor Edward Imwinkelried's article, "Should the Courts Incorporate a Best Evidence Rule into the Standard Determining the Admissibility of Scientific Testimony?: Enough is Enough When it is not the Best." The authors have two basic points. First, the authors wish to make it clear that they never proposed the "best evidence rule" that he so vigorously attacks, and they think his suggestion that they did so is strained. Second, they wish to reiterate that courts sometimes should do more than they have to ensure that expert testimony is reasonably sound. The important debate ...