Forensic Science Evidence:  Can the Law Keep Up with Science?

Forensic Science Evidence: Can the Law Keep Up with Science?
Donald E. Shelton
June 2012

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-517-6 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / viii, 264 pages

Price   $75.00


Shelton describes the startling questions that have arisen about the reliability of many forms of scientific evidence which were traditionally regarded as reliable and have been routinely admitted to prove guilt. The exonerations resulting from the development of DNA have exposed the lack of truswortiness of much of the "scientific" evidence that was used to convict people who turned out to be innocent. The Congressionally commissioned report of the National Academy of Sciences documented the lack of scientific basis in many of these areas. Nevertheless, Shelton discloses that many courts continue to routinely admit such evidence in criminal cases, in spite of the obligation of judges to be the "gatekeepers" of forensic science evidence. He explores reasons for that phenomenon and describes whether and how it might change in the future.

About the Author

Hon Donald E. Shelton, PhD is an active jurist, scholar, writer and academic. He is the Chief Judge of court system in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has presided over many high profile criminal and civil trials in over 21 years on the bench. In addition to his law degree, Judge Shelton has a Masters degree in Criminology and a PhD in Judicial Studies. He also serves on the adjunct faculty at Cooley Law School and in the Criminology and Political Science departments at Eastern Michigan University. Judge Shelton is the author of several legal texts and has written for and lectured at numerous academic and professional organizations throughout the United States. One of his primary interests is the impact of science and technology on the judicial system.