Don’t Shoot the Messenger by One of the Messengers: A Response to Merlino Et Al.

23 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2010 Last revised: 21 Oct 2010

See all articles by Simon A. Cole

Simon A. Cole

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society

Date Written: August 9, 2009

Abstract

This paper is a response to an article by Merlino et al. that appeared alongside an article by the author in a special issue of this journal on the impact of the Daubert decision on forensic science. In that paper, Merlino et al. discussed the validity of latent print identification and appeared to rely on the preclusion of the author as an expert witness at a trial involving fingerprint evidence, People v. Hyatt, as evidence of that validity. This response argues that this argument was unpersuasive as a matter of legal theory, constituted an ad hominem attack that had the potential to unfairly discredit the author in readers’ eyes, and distracted readers from the issue of the continued lack of evidence of the reliability of latent print identification.

Keywords: Daubert, Merlino, fingerprint, validity, Hyatt, reliability

Suggested Citation

Cole, Simon A., Don’t Shoot the Messenger by One of the Messengers: A Response to Merlino Et Al. (August 9, 2009). Tulsa Law Review, Vol. 45, No. 1, 2009, UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2010-20, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1656080

Simon A. Cole (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.seweb.uci.edu/faculty/cole/

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