How Trial Judges Should Think About Forensic Science Evidence
Judicature, Spring 2018, Vol. 102, Number 1
29 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2018 Last revised: 4 Mar 2018
Date Written: February 6, 2018
It is undeniable that there are serious problems with the presentation of forensic science evidence in U.S. courtrooms. Comprehensive studies by scientific bodies find that many forensic sciences have not been validated and none have provided sufficiently rigorous scientific evidence that supports a claim of low rates of error. However, trial courts and appellate courts have largely ignored these problems and have done nothing to motivate forensic scientists to improve the scientific quality of their courtroom testimony. This paper provides trial judges with guidance on how they should think about and evaluate the reliability of forensic science evidence.
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