The PCAST Report on Forensic Science: What Does It Mean and Where Do We Go From Here?

Location: Nautilus 5
Date: Fri, March 24
Time: 4:15 PM - 5:30 PM

The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) forensic science report, (Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity of Feature-Comparison Methods), was released in September 2016. The report focuses on the current state of the science of six forensic methods that examine and compare patterns or features. The PCAST report recommended that expert testimony be based on valid forensic methods, and provide complete and accurate information about error rates, the comparability between the types of samples used in these empirical studies and the sample(s) available in the particular case, and an accurate portrayal of the probative value of the observed features (i.e., how common or rare the features are, based on empirical studies). In addition to providing a summary of the report, this presentation will include a discussion of its potential impact on admissibility and efforts to implement its recommendations.

201: Intermediate