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White House releases report citing professor’s articles


Paul Giannelli

The White House recently released a report on forensic science, which cited six of Professor Paul Giannelli’s articles.

Giannelli is a Distinguished University Professor and the Albert J. Weatherhead III and Richard W. Weatherhead Professor of Law.

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released the report, titled Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity of Feature-Comparison Methods” (PDF), in September.

In recent decades, the reliability of some forms of forensic evidence and testimony based on that evidence has increasingly come into question and, in some cases, resulted in wrongful convictions.

“Among other things, the report pointed out the lack of foundational research for hair analysis, shoe print evidence and bite-mark comparisons—and the need for expertise in fingerprint identifications to inform juries of their error rates,” said Giannelli, who is serving on the Attorney General’s National Commission on Forensic Science.

As part of its yearlong study, PCAST reviewed more than 2,000 papers from various sources and obtained input from scientists, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, academic researchers, advocates and practitioners.

The six articles written by Giannelli that were included in the report are:

  • The Admissibility of Novel Scientific Evidence: Frye v. United States, A Half-Century Later, 80 Columbia Law Review 1197 (1980).
  • Daubert and Forensic Science: The Pitfalls of Law Enforcement Control of Scientific Research, 2011 University of Illinois Law Review 53.
  • The Supreme Court’s “Criminal” Daubert Cases, 33 Seton Hall Law Review 1071 (2003).
  • Independent Crime Laboratories: The Problem of Motivational and Cognitive Bias, 2010 Utah Law Review 247.
  • Cognitive Bias in Forensic Science, 25 Criminal Justice 61 (Summer 2010).
  • Daubert Challenges to Firearms (“Ballistics”) Identifications, 43 Crim. L. Bull. 548 (2007).