Regents' Professor Michael Saks was quoted in an article in the May issue of Texas Monthly, "Weird Science," by reporter Michael Hall.
Hall writes that testimony from forensic experts can be the most persuasive presented at a trial, but juries often don't realize analysis of hair, fire and fingerprints may be less than scientific. As a result, innocent people sometimes go to jail, he reports.
"What law enforcement folks do is called 'individualizing'," Saks said. "They'll say, 'We know of no two fingerprints alike,' or 'Every single person has unique bite marks.' They say it, and everyone believes it, but no one knows if that's true. It can't be tested unless you test everyone on the planet."
To read the full article, click here.
Saks is a Regents' Professor of Law and Psychology, and a Faculty Fellow in the College of Law's Center for Law, Science & Innovation. His research focuses on empirical studies of the legal system, especially decision-making, the behavior of the litigation system, and the law's use of science. Saks is the fourth most-cited law-and-social-science scholar in the U.S., and has authored approximately 200 articles and books. Courses he has taught include criminal law, evidence, law and science, property and torts.