- 1:00 pm on Thursday, October 25, 2012
- Barristers' Hall
Professor David Harris, Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law, and Associate Dean for Research, University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Introduction by BU Law Professor Tracey Maclin.
Professor Harris has written a compelling book, Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science. His book is a direct challenge to police agencies and prosecutors' offices that continue to resist changing basic investigative methods. If one looks at popular culture - think any of the CSI programs - or news, with a steady drumbeat of DNA-based criminal convictions, it would be easy to conclude that science has become the handmaiden of law enforcement.
What is not so well known is that there are years of good, solid science - published, replicated, peer reviewed - that pinpoints what goes wrong with basic police procedures in eyewitness identifications, faulty forensics, and false confessions. The science also tells us how to fix those procedures. And yet, most police departments and prosecutors resist any effort to move toward better basic investigation practices based on science. The question at the heart of Failed Evidence is why most agencies resist, and how we can break through that resistance. The book is written for an educated lay person as well as people in law enforcement at every level, and contains many practical suggestions for change.
*Copies of his book will be available for purchase