Saks debate featured in Ontario’s Law Times

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Michael Saks
ASU Regents’ Professor of Law and Psychology Michael Saks recently was featured in Law Times, an Ontario magazine, for his participation on a debate panel focused on the possible weaknesses of forensic evidence.

The article, “Experts debate weaknesses of forensic science, advice for defence counsel,” by Peter Small, explores the opinions of Saks and Fellow panelist Barry Scheck, a law professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

“There’s a lack of data but an enormous amount of faith in it,” said Saks, who mentions three forensic fields that have been removed from the “Pantheon of science”: voice print identification, comparative bullet lead analysis, and almost two-dozen arson indicators.

“But the point is that none of these were kicked out of courts by judges,” Saks said. “These were determined externally to lack a scientific foundation and removed after decades of coming into court and being cheerfully admitted.”

To read the article, click here.

Saks’ 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. He is the fourth most-cited law-and-social-science scholar in the U.S. and has authored approximately 200 articles and books.

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