'Bad' Forensics: How Faulty Evidence Leads to Wrongful Convictions
Part of the UB Law in Focus Discussion Series
Forensic evidence has become a staple of prosecution cases against criminal defendants. But research shows that this so-called foolproof evidence -- from fingerprints to firearms to forensic algorithms -- is anything but that.
Brandon L. Garrett, author of the new book "Autopsy of a Crime Lab," poses the questions that should be asked in courtrooms every day: Where are the studies that validate the basic premises of widely accepted techniques such as fingerprinting? How can experts testify with 100 percent certainty about a fingerprint, when there is no such thing as a 100 percent match? Where is the quality control in the laboratories and at the crime scenes?
Should we so readily adopt powerful new technologies like facial recognition software and rapid DNA machines? And why have judges been so reluctant to consider the weaknesses of so many long-accepted methods?
On July 13, 2021, Garrett, who is L. Neil Williams Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law, where he directs the Wilson Center for Science and Justice, was joined by Erica J. Suter, director of the Innocence Project at UBalt School of Law, to discuss this important topic.
UB Law Prof. Colin Starger moderated the discussion
Brandon L. Garrett
Professor, Duke University School of Law
Erica J. Suter
Director, Innocence Project at University of Baltimore School of Law
Professor, University of Baltimore School of Law
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