Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2411583
 
 

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The Use and Misuse of High-Tech Evidence by Prosecutors: Ethical and Evidentiary Issues


Robert Aronson


University of Washington - School of Law

Jacqueline McMurtrie


University of Washington - School of Law

December 1, 2007

Fordham Law Review, Vol. 76, No. 3, pp. 1453-92 (2007)

Abstract:     
This essay will focuses on prosecutors’ use of complex technological and scientific evidence in the form of computer-generated and DNA evidence. With both types of evidence, there is a danger that the jury will be unduly swayed by the scientific nature of the evidence and consider it infallible proof of the accused’s guilt. One of the challenges our system faces is to ensure that this highly technical evidence is presented in a fair and evenhanded manner that does not embellish or exaggerate its true worth.

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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: criminal procedure, trial practice, trial advocacy, prosecutors, prosecutorial misconduct, professional responsibility, legal ethics, CGI, computer-generated evidence, demonstrative evidence, forensics, DNA

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Date posted: March 22, 2014 ; Last revised: June 30, 2014

Suggested Citation

Aronson, Robert and McMurtrie, Jacqueline, The Use and Misuse of High-Tech Evidence by Prosecutors: Ethical and Evidentiary Issues (December 1, 2007). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 76, No. 3, pp. 1453-92 (2007). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2411583

Contact Information

Robert Aronson
University of Washington - School of Law ( email )
William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States

Jacqueline McMurtrie (Contact Author)
University of Washington - School of Law ( email )
William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States

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