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Daylong Seminar Looks at Forensics Five Years After NAS Report

The state of the forensics profession will be explored at a special daylong Forensic Fridays session at Duquesne University this week.

Is Forensics Getting Fixed? The State of the Profession Five Years After the NAS Report will take a new, interdisciplinary look at the state of the forensic science profession five years after the National Academy of Science (NAS) published its groundbreaking report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward. The session will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6, in the Africa Room of the Duquesne Union.

Hosted by Duquesne University's Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law, the following are among the session's presenters:

  • Craig Cooley, post-conviction defense attorney and former staff attorney for The Innocence Project
  • The Hon. Stephanie Domitrovich, trial judge for the Erie County Court of Common Pleas
  • Christine Funk, general counsel for the Department of Forensic Sciences agency
  • Jane Campbell Moriarty, the Carol Los Mansmann Chair in Faculty Scholarship and professor and associate dean, Duquesne University School of Law
  • Troy Rivetti, assistant U.S. attorney and chief of the Violent Crimes Section of the Office of the U.S. Attorney, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Victor Weedn, chair of forensic science, The George Washington University.

Topics include the independence of forensic laboratories; prosecutorial and defense perspectives on trial practice; and ethical considerations for scientific evidence. A complete session agenda is available here.

"Five years after the NAS released its eye-opening report on the deficient state of the forensic sciences, criminal and civil attorneys and those with whom they work still find themselves practicing in a shaky landscape," said Ben Wecht, institute coordinator. "Faced with ongoing concerns about the lack of foundational research is some of the most commonly relied-upon forensic scientific disciplines, uneven accreditation and proficiency standards for examiners, and laboratories often too closely allied with police and prosecutorial agencies, the questions of what constitutes solid evidence and who is and is not an expert have never been more critical."

The Wecht Institute is also offering this seminar via live video stream stream, but registration is limited. Visit http://www.duq.edu/wecht-distance-learning to learn more about earning credits remotely for this seminar. For more information, including cost, continuing legal education credits and registration, call 412.396.1330, email wechtinstitute@duq.edu or visit www.duq.edu/forensics.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.