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Forensic Science Reform - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128027196, 9780128027387

Forensic Science Reform

1st Edition

Protecting the Innocent

Editors: Wendy Koen C. Michael Bowers
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128027196
eBook ISBN: 9780128027387
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 16th December 2016
Page Count: 392
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Forensic Science Reform: Protecting the Innocent is written for the nonscientist to help make complicated scientific information clear and concise enough for attorneys and judges to master. This volume covers physical forensic science, namely arson, shaken baby syndrome, non-accidental trauma, bite marks, DNA, ballistics, comparative bullet lead analysis, fingerprint analysis, and hair and fiber analysis, and contains valuable contributions from leading experts in the field of forensic science.

Key Features

  • Offers training for prosecuting attorneys on the present state of the forensic sciences in order to avoid reliance on legal precedent that lags decades behind the science
  • Provides defense attorneys the knowledge to defend their clients against flawed science
  • Arms innocence projects and appellate attorneys with the latest information to challenge convictions that were obtained using faulty science
  • Uses science-specific case studies to simplify issues in forensic science for the legal professional
  • Offers a detailed overview of both the failures and progress made in the forensic sciences, making the volume ideal for law school courses covering wrongful convictions, or for undergraduate courses on law, legal ethics, or forensics


Criminal court judges and attorneys, legal professionals, as well as forensic science and law students worldwide

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Compositional Bullet Lead Analysis

  • Case Study: James Otto Earhart
  • Exquisite Measurements, Erroneous Inferences: Compositional Bullet Lead Analysis

Chapter 2. Microscopic Hair Comparison

  • Case Studies: Colin Campbell Ross and James Driskell
  • Is Microscopic Hair Comparison a Legitimate Science?

Chapter 3. Arson

  • Case Study: Cameron Todd Willingham
  • Confronting Inaccuracy in Fire Cause Determinations

Chapter 4. Shaken Baby Syndrome

  • Case Study: Ken Marsh
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome and Abusive Head Trauma

Chapter 5. Bite Mark Evidence

  • Case Study: Ray Krone in His Own Words
  • Bite Mark Evidence

Chapter 6. Firearms Identification

  • Case Study: Anthony Hinton
  • Firearms Identification Evidence: Emerging Themes From Recent Criticism, Research, and Case Law

Chapter 7. DNA Evidence

  • Case Study: Amanda Knox
  • Essential Elements of a Critical Review of DNA Evidence
  • Appendix: Model Discovery Request Language for Biological Testing (Including DNA)

Chapter 8. Presumptive and Confirmatory Blood Testing

  • Case Study: Lindy Chamberlain
  • Presumptive and Confirmatory Blood Testing

Chapter 9. Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

  • Case Study: David Camm
  • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

Chapter 10. Crime Scene Reconstruction

  • Faulty Crime Scene Reconstruction: Glenn Ford
  • Crime Scene Reconstruction

Chapter 11. Fingerprints

  • Case Study: Brandon Mayfield
  • The Fingerprint Expert: Do You Really Have One?


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2017
16th December 2016
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editors

Wendy Koen

Wendy J. Koen is currently in private practice in Southern California. Formerly with the California Innocence Project, Ms. Koen has been part of litigation teams that successfully represented many clients in wrongful conviction cases, including the successful exoneration of Timothy Atkins, Daniel Larsen, and William Richards. In addition, Attorney Koen’s work was instrumental in changes to California’s law concerning false expert evidence, and the inception of California Penal Code Section 1473 (e)(1), giving those convicted by faulty science a clear avenue for relief.

Affiliations and Expertise

Habeas Attorney, San Diego, CA, USA

C. Michael Bowers

C. Michael Bowers

C. Michael Bowers is an Associate Clinical Professor at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. He is also the Deputy Medical Examiner in Ventura, California. Dr. Bowers is a practicing forensic dentist and consultant who has testified and worked on hundreds of cases where dental evidence has been involved. He is a former Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Odontology, a Senior Crime Scene Analyst for the International Association for Identification (IAI) and has written other articles, chapters and books on forensic dentistry. He owns and operates his own dental practice in Ventura, CA.

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Clinical Professor, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; Deputy Medical Examiner, Ventura, CA, USA


2018 PROSE Awards - Winner, Award for Textbook/Social Services: Association of American Publishers


"Koen and Bowers have successfully given a voice to the forensic scientist and victims of recognised miscarriages of justice. This book shines a light on the cracks within the collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation of forensic evidence. succeeds in providing excellent motivation and opportunity for others to address the gaps and push for greater reform and quality assurance within forensic sciences" --CSEye

"Although fitting the design of a law school course book, FORENSIC SCIENCE REFORM is just as well suited for the library in a prosecutor’s or defense counsel’s office. It is as useful a guide to the strengths and limitations of common forensic disciplines as any single text available." --Advocacy and Evidence Resources

"There is a revolution in forensic science in this country and this book provides a practical, detailed, and truly fascinating guide to how much has changed in the field.  Students, lawyers, and scientists will all find this book eye opening, from its explanations of research to the case studies describing how forensics can go wrong." -- Brandon L. Garrett, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Ratings and Reviews