Categories: Criminal Law
Forensic evidence used in criminal cases has come under intense scrutiny recently because few of the methods have been scientifically validated and some have been proven to be highly unreliable. This course brings together law students and graduate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students to examine Law & Forensic Science. The course is divided into two distinct segments. The first half of the class involves presentations by faculty and leading scientists, lawyers, and scholars on the legal system & processes, the fundamentals of science, and the challenges confronting the forensic disciplines, including close scrutiny of many of the dominant forensic techniques in use today. For the bulk of the remaining time, the course turns to examining more deeply these issues in a practice setting—in-class mock hearings or mock trials—in which law students assume the roles of the attorneys litigating forensic science issues, and the STEM students assume the roles of expert witnesses in the various disciplines.