Cops in Lab Coats and Forensics in the Courtroom

25 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2015 Last revised: 2 Apr 2019

See all articles by Valena Elizabeth Beety

Valena Elizabeth Beety

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: July 1, 2015

Abstract

Law enforcement’s past cover-ups of faulty forensics is at the heart of Sandra Guerra Thompson’s new book, Cops in Lab Coats: Curbing Wrongful Convictions Through Independent Forensic Laboratories. Thompson posits that forensic labs should be independent, rather than controlled by prosecutors and used to convict persons no matter the human cost. In brief, Thompson’s book captures the recent history of forensic validation — and invalidation — and its critical impact on the criminal justice system. Her inclusion of wrongful convictions mirrors the national conversation where innocence is the primary impetus to ensure that forensic disciplines become more reliable, forensic findings more testable, and forensic inquiries more independent.

Keywords: forensics, police, criminal, mass incarceration, wrongful convictions, innocence

Suggested Citation

Beety, Valena Elizabeth, Cops in Lab Coats and Forensics in the Courtroom (July 1, 2015). Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2686231

Valena Elizabeth Beety (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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