Expert Witness Says Former Guard’s Actions Against Inmate Unlawful

Prison, Barbed Wire

An expert for the state has testified that a Bexar County detention officer did not follow proper training techniques when he punched an inmate during a fight inside the jail’s annex in 2014. The Incident On July 13, 2014, Avery Lawrence was working as a detention officer at the Bexar County Detention Center Annex. Lawrence […]

Cellphone Experts Debate Validity of Location Evidence

Cellphone, signals, wifi

In criminal cases across the country, FBI agents and local police detectives have testified as expert witnesses concerning the location of a suspect’s cellphone (and presumably the suspect) at the time a crime was committed. Whether law enforcement officers are qualified to give that testimony is a hotly contested question. The Connecticut Supreme Court is […]

Montana Death-row Inmates Question Expert Witness Testimony

Death-row inmates Ronald Allen Smith and William Gollehon are “questioning whether state Department of Justice officials told an expert witness to change his testimony to bolster their failed argument that a substitute drug met the legal requirements for use in executions,” according to AP News. The Trial Montana previously used sodium pentothal in its lethal […]

Can a Computer Program Be an Expert Witness?

DNA

When DNA testing is too complex for police crime labs, the labs sometimes outsource their testing to a company like Cybergenetics. Most crime labs can handle DNA testing when the DNA to be analyzed comes from one person, but the process is much more complex when DNA from multiple sources has been mixed together. Cybergenetics […]

Ethical Challenges for Medical Expert Witnesses

Gavel and Stethoscope on Reflective Table

An article entitled Ethical Challenges for the Medical Expert Witness in a recent issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics poses a hypothetical problem and asks expert medical witnesses to consider their ethical duties if they find themselves in a comparable situation. Hypothetical The article poses the following hypothetical problem. A behavioral neurologist who occasionally […]

Investigation Highlights the Need for Independent Forensic Experts

Forensic Lab Tech

Most state and local crime lab employees are honest and hard-working, but as federal appellate Judge Alex Kozinski recently noted, some see their job as helping prosecutors obtain convictions, not as finding the truth based on an objective analysis of evidence. Whether from laziness, poor training, misguided loyalty, or pressure applied by law enforcement agencies, […]

D.C. Court of Appeals Adopts Daubert

Meade and Prettyman Courthouse

The court that first adopted the Frye standard of expert witness admissibility has formally jettisoned that standard in favor of the Daubert standard. The D.C. Court of Appeals has now joined the federal courts and the majority of states in accepting Daubert as the standard under which the admissibility of expert testimony should be evaluated. […]

Experts Testify in Pennsylvania Recount Litigation

I voted stickers

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein asked for a recount in the three states with the closest election outcomes. The Wisconsin recount ended with President-elect Trump gaining an additional 131 votes. The Michigan recount was halted by a court ruling that Stein was not entitled to a recount since she had no hope of gaining […]

Judge Orders New Trial For Ramsea Odeh to Allow Her to Present Expert Witness

Immigration Law

US District Judge Gerswhin Drain allowed clinical psychologist and torture expert Dr. Mary Fabri to testify as an expert witness in the trial of Ramsea Odeh. Odeh’s Indictment In October 2013, federal prosecutors indicted 69-year-old Palestinean leader Ramsea Odeh, associate director of the Chicago nonprofit the Arab American Action Network, for unlawful procurement of naturalization, […]