The Shifted Paradigm: Forensic Sciences’s Overdue Evolution from Magic to Law

A detailed and extensive look at why the US courts’ POV on the evolution of science must be reconstructed back to realities of scientific principles, not ‘res judicata” (i.e old cases). This attached legal treatise, THE SHIFTED PARADIGM: FORENSIC SCIENCE’S OVERDUE EVOLUTION FROM MAGIC TO LAW, is by Chris Fabricant & Tucker Carrington.


Here is a quote from the co-authors contained in the summary section of their work.

“The long-predicted and now manifest paradigm shift in forensic identification evidence is rooted in a systemic, century long failure by nearly all criminal justice stakeholders to comprehend, question, challenge and exclude as unreliable the false and misleading assertions made by forensic experts and exploited by advocates to persuade lay jurors.”

This “systemic” judicial problem was the topic of the last @csidds blog. “The US courts are not prepared for this: The conundrum of outdated forensic science and recanting experts in courts.” 

Wrongful Convictions Blog

Chris Fabricant and Tucker Carrington have posted the above-titled article on SSRN.  Download here.  The abstract states:

A decade ago a controversial article in Science Magazine predicted a coming “paradigm shift” that would push forensic sciences toward fundamental change as the result of “[l]egal and scientific forces . . . converging to drive an emerging skepticism about the claims of the traditional forensic individualization sciences.” This article argues that the predicted paradigm shift has occurred. We support our thesis through a deconstruction of the jurisprudence of two of the forensic disciplines implicated in numerous wrongful convictions – forensic odontology (bite mark analysis) and forensic hair microscopy – and an examination of a confluence of unprecedented events currently altering the landscape of forensic sciences. The empirical evidence and data gathered here demonstrates that traditional forensic identification techniques, as well as the doctrines supporting them, are ultimately no more than…

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About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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