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Failed Evidence: Does Law Enforcement Resist Science?

OCTOBER 25, 2012—The University of Minnesota Law School will welcome nationally recognized criminal justice scholar Professor David Harris of the University of Pittsburgh Law School on Thursday, November 8, 2012, for a panel discussion entitled "Failed Evidence: Does Law Enforcement Resist Science?" The event will be held from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in Room 25 of Mondale Hall.

The panel will focus on Harris' book Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science, in which he argues that law enforcement officials have failed to embrace the science that casts doubt on traditional police work, such as eyewitness identification, suspect interrogation, and forensics. He documents how law enforcement's use of discredited forensic techniques and questionable investigative methods has contributed to miscarriages of justice, including wrongful convictions. Harris offers a number of recommendations for encouraging law enforcement to use sound scientific practices in traditional police work.

The discussion will begin with a brief summary of the findings in Failed Evidence by Harris, followed by commentary and critique from a panel of criminal justice experts. The panelists are:

  • John J. Choi, Ramsey County Attorney
  • Chief John Harrington, Metro Transit Police Department; former Chief of the St. Paul Police Department; former MN State Senator
  • Jon Hopeman, partner of Felhaber, Larson, Fenlon & Vogt; adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School; Innocence Project of Minnesota Board Chair; former Assistant U.S. Attorney
  • Moderator: Mark Kappelhoff, Professor of Clinical Law at the University of Minnesota Law School; former federal prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice

The event is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Law School, the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, the Council on Crime and Justice, the Innocence Project of Minnesota and the Criminal Justice League. 1.5 CLE credits have been requested. The event is free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, go to http://tinyurl.com/failed-evidence.