A Brave New World of Criminal Justice: Neil Gerlach's Genetic Imaginary

42 Alberta Law Review 1141, 2005

5 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2012

See all articles by Steve Coughlan

Steve Coughlan

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

In this well written and intriguing book, Neil Gerlach asks why the criminal justice system has accepted DNA evidence in much the same way that our Anglo-Saxon predecessors accepted trial by ordeal. Why have we not instead shown the same caution we show polygraph evidence? To be sure, he does not present the issue in those terms, and might shudder at the analogy. Still, the central issue he pursues in the book is the question of how DNA evidence has managed to assume its current aura of infallibility, as evidence which is somehow uniquely objective and "true": how it has come to be regarded as an "oracle of truth in criminal justice, superior to the politicized power games of self-interested state agents."

Keywords: criminal justice, DNA, evidence, Neil Gerlach, Genetic Imaginary

Suggested Citation

Coughlan, Steve, A Brave New World of Criminal Justice: Neil Gerlach's Genetic Imaginary (2005). 42 Alberta Law Review 1141, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2135578

Steve Coughlan (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
6061 University Ave
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

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