Recognizing and Litigating Shifts in Forensic Science

Location: Rio Grande West
Date: Sat, April 9
Time: 3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

This panel discussion will focus on recognizing and litigating shifts in forensic science that can provide innovative avenues for relief in post-conviction innocence cases. We will draw on examples from three specific fields: arson/fire science, Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma and comparative bullet lead analysis. All of these fields have undergone foundational shifts in what proper conclusions can be made through good science. Studying the changes that occurred in these fields--how those changes came to be recognized and litigated, and how the shifts in the science are still having significant aftershocks--provides important lessons for handling science cases more generally. These lessons are especially crucial in the current environment, where there is special scrutiny on forensic science, and courts are suddenly giving innocent defendants hope in cases that would have been assumed hopeless even just a few years ago.

201: Intermediate