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Second Annual National Conference on Science and the Law: Summary of Proceedings

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2002
50 pages
Publication Series
This report presents the proceedings of the Second Annual National Conference on Science and the Law (October 10-14, 2000), which brought together members of the scientific, legal, and academic communities to examine and promote an understanding of science among legal professionals and improve knowledge of the legal system among scientists.
Conference speakers explored emerging areas and changing standards of admissibility; concerns surrounding risk assessment and predictions of dangerousness; expert testimony and the role of the judge, jurors, and attorneys; DNA evidence as it is used now and how it may be used in the future; and changes in the treatment of evidence admitted to the court, illustrated through discussions of the Clutter murder case of the 1960's. The opening day featured panels on training and education as well as a cosponsor information session. The four panels on the second day considered emerging areas of admissibility/changing standards of admissibility; risk assessment/predictions of dangerousness; call-for-papers presentations; and breakout sessions. Two panels on the third day addressed what is happening now and may happen in the future with DNA evidence, as well as new procedures for identification. The luncheon presentation focused on science, law, and courtroom dynamics pertinent to stalking cases. The final day of the conference examined forensic-science issues in the Clutter murder case, a 1959 robbery-homicide case in Kansas. Other issues discussed were blood and DNA evidence, firearms and toolmarks, trace evidence (footprints), rope and tape, and psychiatric and psychological evidence.

Date Published: June 1, 2002