ER wrote:I think what Kevin was really getting at is that many defense attorneys and 'critics' don't care whether it's a good ID or not. They just want the evidence out of the trial.
kevin wrote:The rap on fingerprints is that it is not valid right? That's what the Frontline episode was basically saying unless I am mistaken?
kevin wrote:it is happening because it is an adversarial relationship between Prosecution and Defense. Not due to some travesty or incompetence or misguided conspiracy on the part of fingerprint examiners individually or worldwide to wrongly convict people that are accused of a crime as Frontline would lead some people to believe.
kevin wrote:Hypothetically - Let's say there are people that watched that show that will sit on a jury one day and may already have their mind made up as to what value they are going to place on a fingerprint identification. Dror's study may never even come up during cross exam but is it going to play a role in that trial? Is it going to come up during jury selection even? That kind of bias is going to play a lot bigger role in the case than confirmation bias ever could.
the underlying studies that might help determine how unique small bits of friction ridge skin are and how well an examiner might determine that uniqueness. I heard complaints about the FBI, pre-Mayfield, overstating things -- "zero error rate", "infallible", but not that there's no merit to fingerprint ID.
Honestly, I think it going to have far less impact than all the hours of CSI, NCIS and their ilk which give a very shallow portrayal of complex science.
kevin wrote:Honestly, I think it going to have far less impact than all the hours of CSI, NCIS and their ilk which give a very shallow portrayal of complex science.
I guess have to agree with you on this point - the flip side of this is no better. But the CSI effect really does more harm to the examiners on the stand than it does good. There have been many times that I have testified where I pretext an explanation with - 'this isn't like on television...' You got a good point there and there is alot of trash TV that hypes this field up way beyond what is reasonable.
But I'd still prefer to say 'this isn't like on CSI...' as opposed to 'this isn't like you hear on the news....'
The "Reverse CSI Effect," as I call it, can be stated as follows: while jurors may have come to expect, as a result of CSI-type shows, high-tech forensic testimony in criminal cases, and may inappropriately acquit when such evidence is lacking, these same jurors, as a result of these same CSI-type shows, often place too much weight on forensic evidence in cases where forensic evidence IS in fact produced by the prosecution, resulting in convictions in cases where the defendant probably should have been acquitted.
Pg 6 -
"Faulty forensic testimony is one of the leading causes of wrongful conviction in this country, and was present in more than 50% of the 261 DNA based exonerations nationally...."
"Post conviction DNA testing has taught us that entire fields of so-called "science" that were invented by detectives or crime scene investigators in the quest to convict are, in actuality, quite unreliable."
kevin wrote: I know they were talking about bitemarks and arson investigations as the poster boy for bad foresic science but the article doesn't differentiate and basically lumps them all together (kind of like Frontline did with Mayfield).
L.J.Steele wrote:I think they are right -- there are some jurors who expect forensics in every case and may find reasonable doubt where there isn't any, even in cases where it was just not possible to get forensic evidence. There are also some jurors who put too much credence in forensic testimony, even in those areas where the testimony has weak fundamentals or weak work in this case and the trial attorney has done a good job of bringing it out.
I don't see them talking about jurors who are overly skeptical of forensics, when present, because of the exoneration cases or high profile mistakes like Mayfield or McKie. I'd be curious to see what goes on with jurors in areas where there have been high-profile lab scandals like the recent North Carolina mess.
It's not about whether Frontline outweighs CSI or vice versa. In the courtroom, it is about how well you present your evidence. That is the only thing the jury and judge rely on.
Pat, I have long felt strongly that clpex.com needs a "like" button. If it had one, I would click on it a hundred times for this last answer. Congratulations, that is the correct answer...you are a winner!!!!!!!!! (sorry, just a like button, no new car is associated with this response). Thank you.
Graham F wrote:I am sure some will be victim of, dare I say, "confirmation bias" of the TV diatribe they have watched, be it CSI programs or the TV pre-trial broadcasts.
I applaud the above sentiments in that that is what it should be, but to me they are “rose tinted glasses” sentimentality quotes.
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