When justice hinges on forensic evidence, the science behind it must be flawless. But that is not always the case. On March 3 and 4, 2016, the West Virginia Law Review held a symposium at the West Virginia University College of Law to explore the use of flawed forensics in the criminal justice system, entitled “Flawed Forensics and Innocence." Participants included national experts from higher education, the legal community, and advocacy groups.
Experts explored topics such as the use (and abuse) of forensic science in the courtroom, crime labs and federal oversight, litigating arson, and forensic evidence in pre-trial and post-conviction proceedings. Author and journalist Radley Balko, who writes about criminal justice and civil liberties for The Washington Post, delivered the key note address, and Innocence Project founder Barry Scheck spoke at lunch.
“We hope to educate the public and spark meaningful debate in the legal community about the need to make criminal justice reform a priority,” said Ben Hogan, editor-in-chief of the West Virginia Law Review. "We hope to educate the public and spark meaningful debate in the legal community about the need to make criminal justice reform a priority,” said Ben Hogan, editor-in-chief of the West Virginia Law Review.
Watch chronological sessions of the symposium:
Panel 1 : True Injustice: A Discussion of Wrongful Convictions
Panel 2 The Science of Forensic Evidence: Use and Abuse in the Courtroom
Panel 3 : Crime Labs, the FBI, and Federal Oversight of Forensics
Keynote Speaker Radley Balko, Washington Post: "Fixing Forensics: Why It's Urgent, and How We Do It"
Panel 4 : Litigating Change in Science: Shaken Baby Syndrome and Arson
Panel 5 Disclosure and Reliability: Forensic Evidence in Pre-Trial and
Read the introduction to the West Virginia Law Review Flawed Forensics and Innocence Symposium by WVIP Director Valena Beety, and more about the Flawed Forensics and Innocence Symposium in the news.