Twenty-First Century Forensic Science Challenges for Trial Judges in Criminal Cases: Where the 'Polybutadiene' Meets the 'Bitumen'

84 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2009

See all articles by Donald E. Shelton

Donald E. Shelton

Criminology and Criminal Justice Program

Date Written: April 29, 2009

Abstract

This artice discusses the challenges faced by trial judges in criminal 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.

Keywords: evidence, criminal law, forensic science, technology, DNA, CSI, judges

Suggested Citation

Shelton, Donald E., Twenty-First Century Forensic Science Challenges for Trial Judges in Criminal Cases: Where the 'Polybutadiene' Meets the 'Bitumen' (April 29, 2009). Widener Law Journal, Vol. 18, No. 2, p. 309, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1396657

Donald E. Shelton (Contact Author)

Criminology and Criminal Justice Program ( email )

SSB 1080
Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI 48128
United States

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