Forensic science laboratories' reputations have increasingly come under fire. Incidents of tainted evidence, false reports, allegations of negligence, scientifically flawed testimony, or - worse yet - perjury in in-court testimony, have all served to cast a shadow over the forensic sciences. Instances of each are just a few of the quality-related charges made in the last few years. Forensic Science Under Siege is the first book to integrate and explain these problematic trends in forensic science. The issues are timely, and are approached from an investigatory, yet scholarly and research-driven, perspective. Leading experts are consulted and interviewed, including directors of highly visible forensic laboratories, as well as medical examiners and coroners who are commandeering the discussions related to these issues. Interviewees include Henry Lee, Richard Saferstein, Cyril Wecht, and many others. The ultimate consequences of all these pressures, as well as the future of forensic science, has yet to be determined. This book examines these challenges, while also exploring possible solutions (such as the formation of a forensic science consortium to address specific legislative issues). It is a must-read for all forensic scientists.

Key Features

* Provides insight on the current state of forensic science, demands, and future direction as provided by leading experts in the field * Consolidates the current state of standards and best-practices of labs across disciplines * Discusses a controversial topic that must be addressed for political support and financial funding of forensic science to improve


PRIMARY MARKET: Forensic DNA/genetic specialists, law enforcement and criminal investigators, crime scene technicians, private forensic consultants, general forensic community (trace experts, fingerprint, ballistics, etc.), crime laboratory directors and technicians, medical examiners, coroners and forensic pathologists, forensic nurses, prosecutors, and law enforcement. SECONDARY MARKET: Forensic science and criminal justice 4- and 2-year college students, high school students, forensic nurses, prosecutors, defense attorneys, district attorneys, members of the criminal justice system, and interested laypersons.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Forensic Science: Celebrated and Vilified Chapter 2 The Stakeholders in Forensic Science: Roles, Perspectives, and Expectations Chapter 3 An Introduction to the U.S. Forensic Laboratory System Chapter 4 The U.S. Forensic Laboratory System Under Siege Chapter 5 The Reality of the U.S. Forensic Laboratory System Chapter 6 An Introduction to the U.S. Medico-Legal Death Investigation System Chapter 7 The U.S. Medico-legal Death Investigation System Under Siege Chapter 8 The Real Story of the U.S. Medico-legal Death Investigation System Chapter 9 The Courts: Battlefield for the Truth and a Changing Paradigm Chapter 10 Not All Science is Created Equal Chapter 11 DNA: Convicting the Guilty, Exonerating the Innocent Chapter 12 The Evidence Trilogy and Forensic Science Chapter 13 The Stakeholders in Court: Judges, Juries, Experts, and Attorneys Chapter 14 The Champions of Forensic Science: Advocacy and Funding Efforts Chapter 15 The Road to Redemption: An Agenda for Reform Chapter 16 New Initiatives and the Future of Forensic Science


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© 2007
Academic Press
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About the author

Kelly Pyrek

Affiliations and Expertise

Phoenix, Arizona