FORENSICS: Examining the Evidence provides a set of tools for legal professionals that will strengthen their capacity to make decisions about the reliability of the analysis of physical evidence. Through review of this material, participants will significantly increase their ability to:
- Identify the scientific method and assess how and when it has been applied;
- Analyze the validity and limitations of forensic science processes; and
- Employ appropriate language when presenting non-quantitative information, and non-deductive inferences in reports and testimony.
The website modules include discussion of,
- Landmark cases and developments;
- The scientific method and its relevance to legal professionals;
- The broad spectrum of forensic disciplines that exist today;
- The definition of validity and reliability as it pertains to the evaluation of a scientific technique;
- Limitations that exist in the practice and procedures involved in the process of examining evidence;
- The interpretation of scientific data, especially involving the use of language in the courtroom;
- Bias and potential ethical issues as they pertain to scientists, analysts, attorneys and judges; and
- Cultural and language differences between science and the law.
The information in FORENSICS: Examining the Evidence is objective and neutral, assisting all legal professionals with their ability to understand and employ forensic evidence, and access to the modules is free of charge for all users.
Users have a variety of options for accessing the material on the site.
- Search the Glossary for specific terms and their usage;
- Browse through the sections “Science & Law” or “Weighing the Evidence” for overviews of important concepts and contexts in forensic science;
- Download documents from each page you visit, and from the Additional Resources section, for deeper reading;
- Follow six Scenarios as prosecutors and defense attorneys wrestle with issues in forensic science