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Hammond pens article for ‘Judicature’
A national report about the future of the forensic sciences in the United States “never got off the ground,” according to an article written in
by Phoenix attorney Larry Hammond, who has been an adjunct professor at the College of Law.
Hammond’s Viewpoint article in the May-June issue, titled “The failure of forensic science reform in Arizona,” indicates he thought the state would be among the first to embrace the lessons of the report issued by the National Academy of Sciences in February 2009.
The National Institute of Justice had previously awarded a large grant to the state for a search of all homicide and sexual assault convictions that pre-dated DNA testing and might result in innocence today. The College of Law was among the first to host a national conference, attended by dozens of prominent experts in April 2009, to discuss the report and determine a path forward for its recommendations. The Arizona Supreme Court was asked to create a commission to address the need for improvements of criminal cases in Arizona, but it declined to do so, Hammond wrote.
“Our experience in Arizona persuades me that piecemeal, local, and partial solutions will not produce the changes that seem so necessary to those who participated in the National Academy of Science’s work,” wrote Hammond, founder of the Arizona Justice Project. “We will not give up hope at home, but our daunting experience makes a convincing case for the need for leadership at the national level.”
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