Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science - download pdf or read online

By David A. Harris

"Failed facts is a masterful reveal of either the failings in our legal justice method and the explanations many police and prosecutors are unwilling to right them. If actual swap is to ensue, would-be reformers have to ingest this ebook. Its prescriptions, all in keeping with the most recent medical findings, could cross a ways towards casting off wrongful convictions and making sure actual verdicts."

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42 But in the United States, fingerprint experts operate under a different standard: there is no minimum number of corresponding points of identification necessary for an identification. Both the FBI43 and the International Association for Identification,44 the professional certifying organization of fingerprint examiners, have adopted this nonstandard, and it forms the basis for what every examiner in the United States does when making a determination of a match. According to the National Academy of Sciences, “In the United States, the threshold for making a source identification is deliberately kept subjective, so that the examiner can take into account both the quantity and quality of comparable details.

Methods to reduce errors are part of the study design. . 2 When people think of science, they picture hard science—disciplines like chemistry, biological sciences, and physics. And when we think of these disciplines, we automatically think of the tools of hard science: beakers and test tubes, laboratory instruments and precision measuring gear. Hard-science disciplines do use the scientific method to test hypotheses in laboratory environments. But the National Academy of Sciences’ description of the way science works shows that real, rigorous science results from following the principles and processes of the scientific method, not from using particular physical tools.

115 Thus the Behavior Analysis Interview revolves around making an assessment of credibility and guilt. Has the subject told the truth, or lied? Is he or she guilty? As cognitive psychologist and law professor Richard Leo puts it, the Reid Technique teaches interrogators that during the Behavior Analysis Interview, “it is their job to act, in effect, as a human polygraph”116—to determine the truth. If the officer decides the suspect has lied, based on his or her experience and training, the officer proceeds to the nine-step interrogation process.

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Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science by David A. Harris

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