New Online CLE based on Autopsy of a Crime Lab: Exposing the Flaws of Forensics

A new book by Brandon Garrett is a deep dive into the misuse of forensic evidence in criminal courtrooms. To borrow from its description, Autopsy of a Crime Lab: Exposing the Flaws of Forensics “is the first book to catalog the sources of error and the faulty science behind a range of well-known forensic evidence, from fingerprints and firearms to forensic algorithms.” Professor Garrett has also recorded video lectures to accompany the information in the book. Together with Indigent Defense Services and the SOG, we are pleased to announce a new online CLE course based on the book and video series. Read on for more details.

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Hair Analysis Under a Microscope

Over the weekend, the Washington Post ran a story that begins as follows:

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

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