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February 26, 2008

DNA Evidence, Forensics & the "CSI Effect"

Offers Expert Presentation on Forensic Investigation

A free PowerPoint presentation and lecture on "DNA Evidence, Forensics, & the "CSI Effect" will be offered by Farmingdale State College's Artists & Lecturers Program at 11:00 AM on Thursday, March 6, 2008 in Gleeson Hall 202 . Criminal attorneys J. Herbie DiFonzo and Ruth Stern will uncover some of the true and fictional aspects of forensic science and criminal investigation. No tickets are required . Seating is limited. Popular TV shows like "CSI" have elevated forensic science to such glamorous heights that juries may be unduly influenced by this type of evidence. This program will discuss the "CSI Effect" and whether it is, in fact, changing the perceptions of jurors in criminal cases and the way that prosecutors and defense attorneys present their cases. We will also examine whether there is actually any real "science" in the field of forensics. With the notable exception of DNA typing, many forensic techniques may be scientifically unreliable and lacking validity. Although DNA analysis is the most valuable forensic tool we currently have, it is still subject to human error in the gathering and storing of samples as well as in their interpretation. A healthy dose of skepticism and objectivity are urgently needed by all in evaluating potentially powerful evidence presented in the guise of "science."

DiFonzo , a law professor at Hofstra University , has had a career as a federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. Stern is an experienced criminal appeals attorney and has researched and written articles on historical, scientific & medical issues.