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Forensic Science Reform

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Forensic Science Reform

Forensic Science Reform Book
Author : Wendy J Koen,C. Michael Bowers
Publisher : Academic Press
Release : 2016-12-16
ISBN : 012802738X
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Forensic Science Reform: Protecting the Innocent is written for the nonscientist to help make complicated scientific information clear and concise enough for attorneys and judges to master. This volume covers physical forensic science, namely arson, shaken baby syndrome, non-accidental trauma, bite marks, DNA, ballistics, comparative bullet lead analysis, fingerprint analysis, and hair and fiber analysis, and contains valuable contributions from leading experts in the field of forensic science. Offers training for prosecuting attorneys on the present state of the forensic sciences in order to avoid reliance on legal precedent that lags decades behind the science Provides defense attorneys the knowledge to defend their clients against flawed science Arms innocence projects and appellate attorneys with the latest information to challenge convictions that were obtained using faulty science Uses science-specific case studies to simplify issues in forensic science for the legal professional Offers a detailed overview of both the failures and progress made in the forensic sciences, making the volume ideal for law school courses covering wrongful convictions, or for undergraduate courses on law, legal ethics, or forensics

Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States

Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States Book
Author : National Research Council,Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences,Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics,Policy and Global Affairs,Committee on Science, Technology, and Law,Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Sciences Community
Publisher : National Academies Press
Release : 2009-07-29
ISBN : 0309142393
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Scores of talented and dedicated people serve the forensic science community, performing vitally important work. However, they are often constrained by lack of adequate resources, sound policies, and national support. It is clear that change and advancements, both systematic and scientific, are needed in a number of forensic science disciplines to ensure the reliability of work, establish enforceable standards, and promote best practices with consistent application. Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward provides a detailed plan for addressing these needs and suggests the creation of a new government entity, the National Institute of Forensic Science, to establish and enforce standards within the forensic science community. The benefits of improving and regulating the forensic science disciplines are clear: assisting law enforcement officials, enhancing homeland security, and reducing the risk of wrongful conviction and exoneration. Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States gives a full account of what is needed to advance the forensic science disciplines, including upgrading of systems and organizational structures, better training, widespread adoption of uniform and enforceable best practices, and mandatory certification and accreditation programs. While this book provides an essential call-to-action for congress and policy makers, it also serves as a vital tool for law enforcement agencies, criminal prosecutors and attorneys, and forensic science educators.

The Psychology and Sociology of Wrongful Convictions

The Psychology and Sociology of Wrongful Convictions Book
Author : Wendy J Koen,C. Michael Bowers
Publisher : Academic Press
Release : 2018-06-26
ISBN : 0128027029
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Wrongful convictions are the result of faulty or false scientific evidence in 50% of the cases. Defense counsel is often at a great disadvantage in defending against evidence based on science. Illusory Evidence: The Psychology and Sociology of Wrongful Convictions is written for the non-scientist, to make complicated scientific information clear and concise enough for attorneys and judges to master. This is obtained by providing case studies to simplify issues in forensic psychology for the legal professional. Increases the courts’ knowledge about areas of psychology that have been debunked, have advanced, or have been refined by the scientific community Covers issues in psychological forensics, namely: Profiling, Psychological Defenses, Mitigation, Eyewitness Testimony/Identification, Child Testimony, Repressed Memories, False Confessions and Moral Panic Trains prosecuting attorneys about the present state of the forensic psychology, to avoid relying only on legal precedent and will not present flawed science to the court Provides defense attorneys the knowledge necessary to competently defend where forensic psychology plays a part in a prosecution Arms innocence projects and appellate attorneys with the latest information to challenge convictions Uses case studies to simplify issues in forensic psychology for the legal professional

Forensic Science Evidence and Expert Witness Testimony

Forensic Science Evidence and Expert Witness Testimony Book
Author : Paul Roberts,Michael Stockdale
Publisher : Edward Elgar Publishing
Release : 2018-11-30
ISBN : 1788111036
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Forensic science evidence plays a pivotal role in modern criminal proceedings. Yet such evidence poses intense practical and theoretical challenges. It can be unreliable or misleading and has been associated with miscarriages of justice. In this original and insightful book, a global team of prominent scholars and practitioners explore the contemporary challenges of forensic science evidence and expert witness testimony from a variety of theoretical, practical and jurisdictional perspectives. Chapters encompass the institutional organisation of forensic science, its procedural regulation, evaluation and reform, and brim with comparative insight.

Forensic Science Under Siege

Forensic Science Under Siege Book
Author : Kelly Pyrek
Publisher : Elsevier
Release : 2010-07-27
ISBN : 9780080471075
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Forensic science laboratories' reputations have increasingly come under fire. Incidents of tainted evidence, false reports, allegations of negligence, scientifically flawed testimony, or - worse yet - perjury in in-court testimony, have all served to cast a shadow over the forensic sciences. Instances of each are just a few of the quality-related charges made in the last few years. Forensic Science Under Siege is the first book to integrate and explain these problematic trends in forensic science. The issues are timely, and are approached from an investigatory, yet scholarly and research-driven, perspective. Leading experts are consulted and interviewed, including directors of highly visible forensic laboratories, as well as medical examiners and coroners who are commandeering the discussions related to these issues. Interviewees include Henry Lee, Richard Saferstein, Cyril Wecht, and many others. The ultimate consequences of all these pressures, as well as the future of forensic science, has yet to be determined. This book examines these challenges, while also exploring possible solutions (such as the formation of a forensic science consortium to address specific legislative issues). It is a must-read for all forensic scientists. Provides insight on the current state of forensic science, demands, and future direction as provided by leading experts in the field Consolidates the current state of standards and best-practices of labs across disciplines Discusses a controversial topic that must be addressed for political support and financial funding of forensic science to improve

Crime Lab Report

Crime Lab Report Book
Author : John M. Collins
Publisher : Academic Press
Release : 2019-09-17
ISBN : 0128173289
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Crime Lab Report compiles the most relevant and popular articles that appeared in this ongoing periodical between 2007 and 2017. Articles have been categorized by theme to serve as chapters, with an introduction at the beginning of each chapter and a description of the events that inspired each article. The author concludes the compilation with a reflection on Crime Lab Report, the retired periodical, and the future of forensic science as the 21st Century unfolds. Intended for forensic scientists, prosecutors, defense attorneys and even students studying forensic science or law, this compilation provides much needed information on the topics at hand. Presents a comprehensive look ‘behind the curtain’ of the forensic sciences from the viewpoint of someone working within the field Educates practitioners and laboratory administrators, providing talking points to help them respond intelligently to questions and criticisms, whether on the witness stand or when meeting with politicians and/or policymakers Captures an important period in the history of forensic science and criminal justice in America

Wrongful Conviction and Criminal Justice Reform

Wrongful Conviction and Criminal Justice Reform Book
Author : Marvin Zalman,Julia Carrano
Publisher : Routledge
Release : 2013-10-30
ISBN : 1135077444
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Wrongful Conviction and Criminal Justice Reform is an important addition to the literature and teaching on innocence reform. This book delves into wrongful convictions studies but expands upon them by offering potential reforms that would alleviate the problem of wrongful convictions in the criminal justice system. Written to be accessible to students, Wrongful Conviction and Criminal Justice Reform is a main text for wrongful convictions courses or a secondary text for more general courses in criminal justice, political science, and law school innocence clinics.

Autopsy of a Crime Lab

Autopsy of a Crime Lab Book
Author : Brandon L. Garrett
Publisher : Univ of California Press
Release : 2021-03-23
ISBN : 0520976630
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

This book exposes the dangerously imperfect forensic evidence that we rely on for criminal convictions. "That's not my fingerprint, your honor," said the defendant, after FBI experts reported a "100-percent identification." They were wrong. It is shocking how often they are. Autopsy of a Crime Lab 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. In this devastating forensic takedown, noted legal expert Brandon L. Garrett 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? Taking us into the lives of the wrongfully convicted or nearly convicted, into crime labs rocked by scandal, and onto the front lines of promising reform efforts driven by professionals and researchers alike, Autopsy of a Crime Lab illustrates the persistence and perniciousness of shaky science and its well-meaning practitioners.

Convicting the Innocent

Convicting the Innocent Book
Author : Brandon L. Garrett
Publisher : Harvard University Press
Release : 2012-09-03
ISBN : 0674066111
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

On January 20, 1984, Earl WashingtonÑdefended for all of forty minutes by a lawyer who had never tried a death penalty caseÑwas found guilty of rape and murder in the state of Virginia and sentenced to death. After nine years on death row, DNA testing cast doubt on his conviction and saved his life. However, he spent another eight years in prison before more sophisticated DNA technology proved his innocence and convicted the guilty man. DNA exonerations have shattered confidence in the criminal justice system by exposing how often we have convicted the innocent and let the guilty walk free. In this unsettling in-depth analysis, Brandon Garrett examines what went wrong in the cases of the first 250 wrongfully convicted people to be exonerated by DNA testing. Based on trial transcripts, Garrett's investigation into the causes of wrongful convictions reveals larger patterns of incompetence, abuse, and error. Evidence corrupted by suggestive eyewitness procedures, coercive interrogations, unsound and unreliable forensics, shoddy investigative practices, cognitive bias, and poor lawyering illustrates the weaknesses built into our current criminal justice system. Garrett proposes practical reforms that rely more on documented, recorded, and audited evidence, and less on fallible human memory. Very few crimes committed in the United States involve biological evidence that can be tested using DNA. How many unjust convictions are there that we will never discover? Convicting the Innocent makes a powerful case for systemic reforms to improve the accuracy of all criminal cases.

Policing in an Age of Reform

Policing in an Age of Reform Book
Author : James J. Nolan,Frank Crispino,Timothy Parsons
Publisher : Springer Nature
Release : 2020-12-07
ISBN : 3030567656
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

This book tackles the contentious issue of policing in an age of controversy and uncertainty. It is a timely book written by police scholars — predominantly former practitioners from Europe, Australia and North America — who draw from their own research and operational experiences to illuminate key issues relating to police reform in the present day. While acknowledging some relevance of usual proposed models, such as problem-solving, evidence-based policing and procedural justice, the contributors provide an insider look at a variety of perspectives and approaches to police reform which have emerged in recent decades. It invites university students, criminologists, social scientists, police managers, forensic scientists to question and adapt their perspectives on a broad range of topics such as community policing, hate crime, Islamic radicalisation, neighborhood dynamics, situational policing, antidiscrimination and civil society, police ethics, performance measures, and advances in forensic science, technology, intelligence and more in an accessible and comprehensive manner.

The Psychology and Sociology of Wrongful Convictions

The Psychology and Sociology of Wrongful Convictions  Book
Author : Wendy J. Koen,C. Michael Bowers
Publisher : Academic Press
Release : 2018-06
ISBN : 9780128026557
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Wrongful convictions are the result of faulty or false scientific evidence in 50% of the cases. Defense counsel is often at a great disadvantage in defending against evidence based on science. Illusory Evidence: The Psychology and Sociology of Wrongful Convictions is written for the non-scientist, to make complicated scientific information clear and concise enough for attorneys and judges to master. This is obtained by providing case studies to simplify issues in forensic psychology for the legal professional. Increases the courts' knowledge about areas of psychology that have been debunked, have advanced, or have been refined by the scientific community Covers issues in psychological forensics, namely: Profiling, Psychological Defenses, Mitigation, Eyewitness Testimony/Identification, Child Testimony, Repressed Memories, False Confessions and Moral Panic Trains prosecuting attorneys about the present state of the forensic psychology, to avoid relying only on legal precedent and will not present flawed science to the court Provides defense attorneys the knowledge necessary to competently defend where forensic psychology plays a part in a prosecution Arms innocence projects and appellate attorneys with the latest information to challenge convictions Uses case studies to simplify issues in forensic psychology for the legal professional

Global Forensic Cultures

Global Forensic Cultures Book
Author : Ian Burney,Christopher Hamlin
Publisher : Johns Hopkins University Press
Release : 2019-05-21
ISBN : 1421427494
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Carrier, Simon A. Cole, Christopher Hamlin, Jeffrey Jentzen, Projit Bihari Mukharji, Quentin (Trais) Pearson, Mitra Sharafi, Gagan Preet Singh, Heather Wolffram

Suspect Identities

Suspect Identities Book
Author : Simon A. COLE,Simon A Cole
Publisher : Harvard University Press
Release : 2009-06-30
ISBN : 0674029682
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

"Cole excavates the forgotten and hidden history of criminal identification--from photography to exotic anthropometric systems based on measuring body parts, from fingerprinting to DNA typing"--Jacket.

The Scientific Method in Forensic Science

The Scientific Method in Forensic Science Book
Author : Mike Illes,Paul Wilson
Publisher : Canadian Scholars’ Press
Release : 2020-07-31
ISBN : 1773381636
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Written for the forensic science student and professional practitioner, The Scientific Method in Forensic Science provides an experience-based learning opportunity for understanding the scientific method and evidence-based analysis as they relate to forensic science in a Canadian context. Underscoring the importance of these concepts, this handbook features real-world case and court examples that depict how scientific rigor has been incorporated into practice and the consequences when it has not. The authors explore the paradigm shift in the discipline, examining important events and reports like the Kaufman Commission and the Goudge Report; review scientific concepts and reasoning; and outline steps to critically review a journal article and conduct a literature review. They also highlight the importance of critical thinking, ethics and impartiality, the role of statistics in casework, and effective communication. Blending theory with experience-based examples and featuring thought-provoking questions, exercises, and suggestions for further reading, The Scientific Method in Forensic Science is an essential resource for students in forensic science, criminology, police studies, and anthropology.

Pioneers in Forensic Science

Pioneers in Forensic Science Book
Author : Kelly M. Pyrek
Publisher : CRC Press
Release : 2017-08-07
ISBN : 1498785301
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

This book highlights the contributions of leading forensic science practitioners, iconic figures who have been integral in both establishing current scientific and medicolegal practices and innovative evidence collection, testing, and analysis methods. Such professionals include Henry Lee, Michael Baden, William Bass, Jay Siegel, John Butler, Cyril Wecht, Vincent Di Maio, Marcella Fierro, Barry Fisher, and more. Previously unpublished interviews with these pioneers in the field, expressly undertaken for the purposes this book, examine the last 30 years—past trends that have shaped the field—as well as current and emerging trends that have, and will shape, the future of forensic science.

Ethics and the Practice of Forensic Science

Ethics and the Practice of Forensic Science Book
Author : Robin T. Bowen
Publisher : CRC Press
Release : 2017-09-20
ISBN : 1498777163
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

While one would hope that forensic scientists, investigators, and experts are intrinsically ethical by nature, the reality is that these individuals have morality as varied as the general population. These professionals confront ethical dilemmas every day, some with clear-cut protocols and others that frequently have no definitive answers. Since the publication of the first edition of Ethics and the Practice of Forensic Science, the field of forensic science has continued to see its share of controversy. This runs the gamut of news stories from investigators, lab personnel, or even lab directors falsifying results, committing perjury, admitting to fraud, to overturned convictions, questions about bias, ethics, and what constitutes an "expert" on the witness stand. This fully updated edition tackles all these issues—including some specific instances and cases of unethical behavior—and addresses such salient issues as accreditation requirements, standardization of ethical codes, examiner certification, and standards for education and training. The new edition provides: A new chapter on the "Ferguson Effect" faced by the criminal justice system The context of forensic science ethics in relation to general scientific ethics, measurement uncertainty, and ethics in criminal justice Ethical conundrums and real-world examples that forensic scientists confront every day The ethics and conduct codes of 20 different forensic and scientific professional organizations An outline of the National Academies of Science (NAS) recommendations and progress made on ethics in forensic science since the release of the NAS report Ethics and the Practice of Forensic Science, Second Edition explores the range of ethical issues facing those who work in the forensic sciences—highlights the complicated nature of ethics and decision-making at the crime scene, in the lab, and in the courts. The book serves both as an essential resource for laboratories to train their employees and as an invaluable textbook for the growing number of courses on ethics in criminal justice and forensic science curricula. Accompanying PowerPoint® slides and an Instructor’s Manual with Test Bank are available to professors upon qualifying course adoption.

Identifying the Culprit

Identifying the Culprit Book
Author : National Research Council,Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education,Committee on Law and Justice,Policy and Global Affairs,Committee on Science, Technology, and Law,Committee on Scientific Approaches to Understanding and Maximizing the Validity and Reliability of Eyewitness Identification in Law Enforcement and the Courts
Publisher : National Academies Press
Release : 2015-01-16
ISBN : 0309310628
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Eyewitnesses play an important role in criminal cases when they can identify culprits. Estimates suggest that tens of thousands of eyewitnesses make identifications in criminal investigations each year. Research on factors that affect the accuracy of eyewitness identification procedures has given us an increasingly clear picture of how identifications are made, and more importantly, an improved understanding of the principled limits on vision and memory that can lead to failure of identification. Factors such as viewing conditions, duress, elevated emotions, and biases influence the visual perception experience. Perceptual experiences are stored by a system of memory that is highly malleable and continuously evolving, neither retaining nor divulging content in an informational vacuum. As such, the fidelity of our memories to actual events may be compromised by many factors at all stages of processing, from encoding to storage and retrieval. Unknown to the individual, memories are forgotten, reconstructed, updated, and distorted. Complicating the process further, policies governing law enforcement procedures for conducting and recording identifications are not standard, and policies and practices to address the issue of misidentification vary widely. These limitations can produce mistaken identifications with significant consequences. What can we do to make certain that eyewitness identification convicts the guilty and exonerates the innocent? Identifying the Culprit makes the case that better data collection and research on eyewitness identification, new law enforcement training protocols, standardized procedures for administering line-ups, and improvements in the handling of eyewitness identification in court can increase the chances that accurate identifications are made. This report explains the science that has emerged during the past 30 years on eyewitness identifications and identifies best practices in eyewitness procedures for the law enforcement community and in the presentation of eyewitness evidence in the courtroom. In order to continue the advancement of eyewitness identification research, the report recommends a focused research agenda. Identifying the Culprit will be an essential resource to assist the law enforcement and legal communities as they seek to understand the value and the limitations of eyewitness identification and make improvements to procedures.

Ethical Standards in Forensic Science

Ethical Standards in Forensic Science Book
Author : Harold Franck,Darren Franck
Publisher : CRC Press
Release : 2020-02-25
ISBN : 135102244X
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Ethical Standards in Forensic Science seeks to address the myriad practices in forensic science for a variety of evidence and analyses. The book looks at ethics, bias, what constitutes an expert in the field—both as a practitioner and to the court system—as well as the standards of practice as purported by the top forensic organizations. Coverage addresses evidence collection, chain of custody, real versus "junk" science, the damage questionable science can cause to a discipline and the judicial process, testing methods, report writing, and expert witness testimony in civil and criminal cases in a court of law. The authors’ background in engineering provides a unique perspective on a variety of evidence and testing methods. As such, in addition to coverage the range of evidence and topics cited in the 2009 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Report, they address numerous challenges that have arisen specifically in forensic engineering cases—their specific area of expertise. Numerous case example are provided to illustrate the inherent danger of bias, inexact science, or expert witnesses taking dangerous and harmful liberties on the stand. Students, lawyers, and professionals in all forensic disciplines will find this a refreshing and accessible approach to elucidate the problem and offer suggestions for reform and change for the good of the entire profession.

The Innocence Commission

The Innocence Commission Book
Author : Jon B. Gould
Publisher : NYU Press
Release : 2009-11
ISBN : 0814732267
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

Beyond Exonerating the Innocent: Author on WAMU Radio Convicted Yet Innocent: The Legal Times Review Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2008 DNA testing and advances in forensic science have shaken the foundations of the U.S. criminal justice system. One of the most visible results is the exoneration of inmates who were wrongly convicted and incarcerated, many of them sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit. This has caused a quandary for many states: how can claims of innocence be properly investigated and how can innocent inmates be reliably distinguished from the guilty? In answer, some states have created “innocence commissions” to establish policies and provide legal assistance to the improperly imprisoned. The Innocence Commission describes the creation and first years of the Innocence Commission for Virginia (ICVA), the second innocence commission in the nation and the first to conduct a systematic inquiry into all cases of wrongful conviction. Written by Jon B. Gould, the Chair of the ICVA, who is a professor of justice studies and an attorney, the author focuses on twelve wrongful conviction cases to show how and why wrongful convictions occur, what steps legal and state advocates took to investigate the convictions, how these prisoners were ultimately freed, and what lessons can be learned from their experiences. Gould recounts how a small band of attorneys and other advocates — in Virginia and around the country — have fought wrongful convictions in court, advanced the subject of wrongful convictions in the media, and sought to remedy the issue of wrongful convictions in the political arena. He makes a strong case for the need for Innocence Commissions in every state, showing that not only do Innocence Commissions help to identify weaknesses in the criminal justice system and offer workable improvements, but also protect society by helping to ensure that actual perpetrators are expeditiously identified, arrested, and brought to trial. Everyone has an interest in preventing wrongful convictions, from police officers and prosecutors, who seek the latest and best investigative techniques, to taxpayers, who want an efficient criminal justice system, to suspects who are erroneously pursued and sometimes convicted. Free of legal jargon and written for a general audience, The Innocence Commission is instructive, informative, and highly compelling reading.

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist Book
Author : Radley Balko,Tucker Carrington
Publisher : PublicAffairs
Release : 2018-02-27
ISBN : 1610396928
Language : En, Es, Fr & De

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Book Description :

A shocking and deeply reported account of the persistent plague of institutional racism and junk forensic science in our criminal justice system, and its devastating effect on innocent lives After two three-year-old girls were raped and murdered in rural Mississippi, law enforcement pursued and convicted two innocent men: Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks. Together they spent a combined thirty years in prison before finally being exonerated in 2008. Meanwhile, the real killer remained free. The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist recounts the story of how the criminal justice system allowed this to happen, and of how two men, Dr. Steven Hayne and Dr. Michael West, built successful careers on the back of that structure. For nearly two decades, Hayne, a medical examiner, performed the vast majority of Mississippi's autopsies, while his friend Dr. West, a local dentist, pitched himself as a forensic jack-of-all-trades. Together they became the go-to experts for prosecutors and helped put countless Mississippians in prison. But then some of those convictions began to fall apart. Here, Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington tell the haunting story of how the courts and Mississippi's death investigation system -- a relic of the Jim Crow era -- failed to deliver justice for its citizens. The authors argue that bad forensics, structural racism, and institutional failures are at fault, raising sobering questions about our ability and willingness to address these crucial issues.