Getting Scientific Justice for Your Clients
When you confront scientific evidence in criminal defense what is your approach? Do you whip out your Smart phone and hope to find an expert to support your view of the scientific facts? That is not a bad approach, but it is expensive and has some risks. One risk is that you never know, until it is too late, what the expert may say. Another risk is cost. While your indigent defense fund may pay part of the costs, generally at reduced rates, for you to independently find an expert is tough. A “shop worn” expert is vulnerable, too. Major power hitters, whom your client deserves, may out-price your funds.
Recently, NACDL, https://www.nacdl.org/champion.aspx?id=29488, and the Innocence Project noted serious flaws in expert testimony about hair analysis. In essence, hair analysis is bunk…not scientific. What might you do?
In my 41 years in scientific evidence analysis, I realized that the best way to start may be to engage the expert head-on with cross-examination based upon the expert’s background, skills, and education. You already know how to do this but I can help you do it better. Then we challenge the science, step by step. That is what I do. I formulate scientific cross-examination questions in cases where there is medical, scientific evidence: sex, violence, homicide, state-of mind, personal identification, DNA… all of that.
I, too, have marveled at SANE nurse testimony as well as MD’s who are goal oriented to win for the “home team” but who forget their science. I have worked in every state over 41 years. I can not promise results, obviously, but if we “do our best” we may be able to raise sufficient reasonable doubt so that you will not need an expert. I will help you prepare a scientific challenge according to your state’s rules. Maybe we can exclude the expert and the opinions. If you decide that you do want an expert, in addition to my work, I will refer you to a well-qualified professional.
Feel free to call me to discuss a case. My fees are reasonable and I do work at Public Defender, State and Federal, rates. I wrote the book, literally, on medical evidence, The Medical Record as Evidence (Lexis 1997) (800-416-1192, if you want a copy).