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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78303 Find in a Library
Title: Forensic Scientist in the Judicial System
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:9  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1981)  Pages:160-166
Author(s): J P Bono
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the role of the forensic scientist as an expert witness in the presentation of scientific data in court.
Abstract: The forensic scientists must deal with lawyers who may attempt to reinterpret physical science data. Therefore, forensic scientists must present the result of their findings in a clear, concise, and complete fashion so as to minimize ambiguity and misinterpretation in the courtroom. Four areas are considered: (1) the question of the 'expert witness,' (2) the difference between 'scientific truth' and 'legal truth,' (3) the conflicts between the forensic scientists and lawyers, and (4) the importance of testimony relating to physical evidence in obtaining a verdict. The early history of the forensic sciences is traced, and precedents in forensic science testimony are discussed, including the cases of Frye v. United States and State v. Barber. The article contends that only by becoming aware of the rules of the social institution of the courtroom will forensic sciences reach their full potential for growth and development. Twelve references are provided.
Index Term(s): Expert witnesses; Forensic medicine; Judicial decisions; Testimony
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