Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Law Review examines judiciary's role after NAS report on forensic evidence

Jane Campbell Moriarty University of Akron School of Law

from Abstract:     

This Article discusses the findings of the NAS Report, relevant cases that predate the report, and some cases decided since the report. It posits that the judiciary, which has created a standard of reliability, has failed to hold prosecutorial expert evidence to that standard. Using examples from history and modern cognitive science explanations, the Article tries to explain why the judiciary has been so unwilling to rigorously examine forensic science evidence and urges the judiciary to rethink its perspective going forward.

While the NAS Report suggests an overhaul of the current system, that overhaul is a contentious idea that may well not occur in the near (or even longer) future. Thus, a current crisis exists that the judiciary must address in its day-to-day decision making. The Article suggests how the judiciary can become a more effective crucible for testing the strength and limitations of forensic science.