Entries by Public Defender 9th Circuit

Cognitive Biases in the Peer Review of Bullet and Cartridge Case Comparison Casework: A Field Study

Abstract Objective Forensic judgments and their peer review are often the result of human assessment and are thus subjective and prone to bias. This study examined whether bias affects forensic peer review. Hypotheses We hypothesized that the probability of disagreement between two forensic examiners about the proposed conclusion would be higher with “blind” peer review […]

How the Police Use Facial Recognition, and Where It Falls Short

After a high-speed chase north of Orlando, Fla., sheriff’s deputies punctured the tires of a stolen Dodge Magnum and brought it to a stop. They arrested the driver, but couldn’t determine who he was. The man had no identification card. He passed out after stuffing something into his mouth. And his fingerprints, the deputies reported, […]

Webinar: I Wasn’t There: Blocking the Admissibility and Limiting the Weight of Historical Cell Site “Expert” Testimony

Historical Cell Site Information cannot tell you where a client was at the time a crime was committed. Historical Cell Site Information is maintained by Cell Phone Companies for use in determining whether they have adequate cell phone “towers” to handle the potential usage by subscribers in a particular area. It was never designed to […]

13 States Have Never Exonerated a Prisoner Based on DNA Evidence. Here’s Why.

Hundreds of state prisoners have successfully used DNA evidence to win exonerations in the past three decades — except in 13 states. The states are Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont. Exonerations have occurred in the 13 states, but none in which DNA […]

Fingerprint Analysis is High-Stakes Work—But It Doesn’t Take Much to Qualify as an Expert

BRENDAN MAX AND two of his colleagues in the Cook County, Illinois, public defender’s office got some good news and some bad news in the spring of 2018. Actually, it was the same news: The three lawyers had nearly aced a proficiency test designed for fingerprint examiners. None of them had any training or real expertise […]