This on-demand webinar is a companion to Professor Brandon Garrett’s 2021 publication “Autopsy of a Crime Lab.” The content begins by covering the methods used in latent fingerprint comparisons and explaining how errors can occur. Next, the presenter summarizes the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report and the 2016 PCAST report in a companion video. Part three of the series describes different types of error rates, including false positive, negative, and inconclusive errors. Part four addresses courtroom testimony, including the problem of scientific overstatement and how to counter it.
Students will also learn to describe the problem of expert qualification and proficiency and address it in criminal investigations and trials in part five of the series. Part six discusses the problem of cognitive bias and the role it plays in forensic error. A discussion of quality control at labs and crime scenes will follow in part seven. The final video of the series will discuss judicial gatekeeping and conclude the series.