Another defense DNA expert has a bad day. Forgot to update his CV. Only has a Bachelors.


Image result for witness box in court

This fellow has an extensive curriculum vitae. His website looks polished. He reports as being a Member of the AAFS and a Fellow of the ABC (Criminalists).

He’s gotten the boot from a New York for a number of reasons. Let’s see what the gist of the judge’s dismissal statement can give us. I just looked. It’s not much from this news report. 

Here’s a summary:

The expert’s name is Arthur W. Young.

“Young, who works for Guardian Forensic Sciences, had proudly told the judge that he’s testified as an expert for both defense and prosecution cases in local, state and federal courts 160 times across the country.”

[The DA] “challenged Young’s credentials by exposing that he does not have a master’s degree, was fired twice, embellished his resume as a forensic biology specialist and was denied expert status in Staten Island in 2013.”

THEN here it comes.

“You said on the Guardian website that you were never denied expert status?” asked Gough.”

“This needs to be updated,” Young admitted after he was shown a screenshot of the web page.”

The gatekeeper speaketh. 

I think we are seeing some varied interpretations regarding what makes a “valid” DNA expert. Here’s another recent DNA case with a defense expert getting tossed.  The judges might need to get organized about their rules for at least the educational minimums. Young’s CV issues not included in this aspect.

Background on legal “”thresholds” for expert wits. Subject matter: Digital imaging. 

One time, according to one attorney,  I was expected to have an advanced degree in order to use Adobe Photoshop. The judge almost bought it. It didn’t matter that the opposing expert used Photoshop as well. It also didn’t matter that he had been a student of mine in the USE of Photoshop. A “user” of a particular computer imaging system was considered knowledgeable yet not necessarily a software “expert” in Swinton. Neither the attorneys nor the judge knew much about it. Unfortunately, I just had to sit there and watch.

Swinton’s findings:

– The computer utilized is accepted in the field as standard, competent and in good working order;
– Qualified operators, proper procedures and reliable software programs were employed;
– The equipment was programmed and operated correctly; and
– The exhibit is properly identified as the output in question.



About csidds

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