Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1578974
 
 

Footnotes (166)



 


 



Forensiphilia: Is the Public Fascination with Forensic Science a Love Affair or a Fatal Attraction?


Jessica D. Gabel


Georgia State University - College of Law

2010

New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement, Forthcoming
Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-08

Abstract:     
In February of 2009, the National Academy of Sciences released its much anticipated diagnosis and prescription for what ails the forensic science community. The Report confirmed the low but steady noise that had been building in the criminal justice system for at least a decade: that, with the exception of DNA evidence, much of what is presented as forensic science is not really science at all. Instead, a large segment of the high-tech pageantry seen on television and now expected and employed in court would fail to clear even the lowest hurdles of stringent scientific inquiry. Nonetheless, forensic evidence is often used to demonstrate the certainty of a person’s guilt by authoritatively “matching” evidence from the crime scene or victim to the suspect. The Report sounded the alarm as to the needs of the forensic science community, raised critical concerns, and even suggested a remedy by calling for the creation of an independent agency to regulate the field of forensic science. Moreover, it came at a time of “forensiphilia” – where forensic science is itself a celebrity that captivates and enchants audiences. One year after the Report caused ripples throughout scientific and legal circles, it seems as though, in some ways, the shock has passed, numbness has set in, and progress is idle. This article will examine the evolution of forensic science on television and in the courtroom. It will evaluate whether DNA is the reliable anomaly among the forensic science disciplines. Finally, along a similar vein to the Report’s resolution to strengthen forensic science, this article will call for a strengthening in legal education aimed at fostering both an understanding of the advances in science and a skepticism towards methods that inherently lack a solid foundation in science.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: DNA, evidence, criminal justice, criminal law, law and science, forensic science, forensics, legal education

JEL Classification: K00, K14, K40, K49

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: March 30, 2010 ; Last revised: April 7, 2010

Suggested Citation

Gabel, Jessica D., Forensiphilia: Is the Public Fascination with Forensic Science a Love Affair or a Fatal Attraction? (2010). New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement, Forthcoming; Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-08. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1578974

Contact Information

Jessica D. Gabel (Contact Author)
Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,160
Downloads: 166
Download Rank: 108,696
Footnotes:  166

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.454 seconds