Black robes, white coats: the puzzle of judicial by Professor Rebecca C. Harris

By Professor Rebecca C. Harris

Scientific facts is regular in modern felony trials. From hair and handwriting research to ink and DNA fingerprints, scientists have introduced their international to endure at the justice system.

Combining political research, clinical reasoning, and an in-depth learn of particular country ideally suited lawsuits, Black gowns, White Coats is an interdisciplinary exam of the culture of "gatekeeping," the perform of determining the admissibility of novel clinical facts. Rebecca Harris systematically examines judicial policymaking in 3 components forensic DNA, polygraphs, and mental syndrome proof to reply to the query: Why is medical proof handled another way between a variety of jurisdictions? those judgements have very important implications for comparing our judicial method and its skill to properly strengthen medical policy.

While the interplay of those professions happens as the white coats usually enhance and be certain wisdom deemed very helpful to the black gowns, Harris concludes that the black gowns are good situated to render applicable rulings and ensure the acceptability of harnessing a specific technology for felony purposes.

First e-book to systematically assemble and learn judicial judgements on clinical admissibility

Analyzes a number of key instances together with Arizona v. Bible and Kansas v. Marks

Includes examples of proof in 3 appendices: forensic DNA, polygraph facts, and syndrome evidence

Presents an unique version of the gatekeeping process

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Extra info for Black robes, white coats: the puzzle of judicial policymaking and scientific evidence

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These calculations generally result in very small chances of a random match, and they are usually articulated in court as “one in several million” or higher. The creation of the target population frequencies and the use of the “product rule” has been a source of judicial (and scientific) controversy in many cases involving DNA analysis. The target samples are often contested as unrepresentative or untested. The product rule has been challenged on the grounds of probability assumptions of independence.

While important in the framing and evaluation of case material, attitudes alone cannot result in admittance or denial. No matter how strong the preference to admit or deny the evidence, a court must have an item of institutional support (some kind of substantiation) for the decision. ) to pass a legal threshold, even a very low legal threshold. Second, institutional/organizational leverage can be sufficient for admittance or denial, irrespective of law or attitudes. Institutional/organizational leverage, if high enough, can overcome even the highest legal threshold or lowest attitudinal support.

Each figure represents a different configuration of the factors discussed above. First, the legal threshold for admissibility is presented as a dotted line setting the bar for admissibility. Admissibility occurs when a case passes above the line. If a case remains below the line, it experiences denial. The threshold for admissibility (the legal standard at work in the jurisdiction) can be either a low threshold or a high threshold. 1 considers the situation where a case finds itself in a court with high attitudinal support, such as a case where the court is conservative and law enforcement is arguing for admissibility.

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