Publications

  • Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity of Feature-Comparison Methods - the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology issued a report (known as the PCAST report) in September 2016. This report assesses the scientific validity and reliability of some important forms of forensic evidence and of testimony. In Jan. 2017, PCAST published an addendum to their report which is available here.
  • Strenthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward - the 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences which found serious problems in forensic science research and practice and recommended an overhaul of the current structure that supports the forensic science community.
  • Forensic Sciences: Review of Status and Needs - a February 1999 report by the National Institute of Justice that addresses the challenges facing the forensic science profession. Contains analysis and recommendations that complement the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report.
  • Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, Third Edition - The National Resource Counsel authored this manual to assist judges in cases involving scientific and technical evidence. There are chapters on admissibility of expert testimony, DNA evidence, statistics, toxicology, medical testimony, and many more forensic topics.

Indigent Defense Services Library

The following books are available for use at the IDS Main Office in Durham. Please call the Forensic Resource Counsel (919-354-7217) for research assistance or access to these books if you cannot travel to the office.

  • Roger Adams et al., Laboratory Experiments in Organic Chemistry (4th ed. 1949).
  • American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 45-56 (2000-2011).
  • Eugene W. Berg et al., Physical and Chemical Methods of Separation (1963).
  • Tom Bevel & Ross M. Gardner, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis With an Introduction to Crime Scene Reconstruction (3d ed. 2008).
  • George L. Bianchi et al., Understanding DUI Scientific Evidence (2d ed. 2009).
  • John M. Butler, Advanced Topics in Forensic DNA Typing: Interpretation (2015).
  • John M. Butler, Forensic DNA Typing: Biology, Technology, and Genetics of STR Markers (2d ed. 2005).
  • John M. Butler, Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing (2010).
  • Donnell R. Christian, Forensic Investigation of Clandestine Laboratories (2003).
  • Larry E. Daniel & Lars E. Daniel, Digital Forensics for Legal Professionals: Understanding Digital Evidence From the Warrant to the Courtroom (2012).
  • Vincent J.M. DiMaio, Gunshot Wounds: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques (2d ed. 1999).
  • David L. Faigman et al., Modern Scientific Evidence: Forensics (Student ed. 2008).
  • David L. Faigman et al., Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony, Vol. 1: Statistics & Research Methods (2010-2011).
  • Barry A.J. Fisher, Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation (6th ed. 2003).
  • Edward F. Fitzgerald, Intoxication Test Evidence, Vol. 1-3 (2d ed. 2010).
  • Ross M. Gardner & Tom Bevel, Practical Crime Scene Analysis and Reconstruction (2009).
  • James C. Garriott, Ed., Garriott's Medicolegal Aspects of Alcohol (4th ed. 2003 and 5th ed. 2008 and 6th ed. 2015).
  • Paul C. Giannelli et al., Scientific Evidence (5th ed. 2012).
  • Lucien C. Haag, Shooting Incident Reconstruction (2006).
  • William C. Head, The DUI Book: A Citizen's Handbook on Fighting a Drunk Driving Case (2006).
  • Brian J. Heard, Firearms and Ballistics: Examining and Interpreting Forensic Evidence (2d ed. 2008).
  • Edward E. Hueske, Practical Analysis and Reconstruction of Shooting Incidents (2006).
  • Cynthia Kuhn, Ph.D., et al. Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy (4th ed. 2014).
  • John E. Leffler, A Short Course in Modern Organic Chemistry (1973).
  • D.P. Lyle, MD, Forensic Science (2012).
  • Marilyn T. Miller, Crime Scene Investigation Laboratory Manual (2014).
  • Terry Mills, III et al., Instrumental Data for Drug Analysis, Vol. 6 and 7 (1996).
  • Stephen J. Morse and Adina L. Roskies, Eds., A Primer on Criminal Law and Neuroscience (2013).
  • Erin E. Murphy, Inside the Cell: The Dark Side of Forensic DNA (2015).
  • National Fire Protection Association 921: Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations (2008).
  • Richard Saferstein, Ed., Forensic Science Handbook: Volume I (2d ed. 2002).
  • Richard Saferstein, Ed., Forensic Science Handbook: Volume II (2d ed. 2005).
  • Richard Saferstein, Ed., Forensic Science Handbook: Volume III (2d ed. 2010).
  • Jan Semenoff, Intoxilyzer Breath Alcohol Testing: Professional Edition (2004).
  • James Shellow, Cross-Examination of the Analyst in Drug Prosecutions (2009).
  • William W. Shockley & Harold C. Pillsbury III, The Neck: Diagnosis and Surgery (1994).
  • Ralph L. Shriner et al., The Systematic Identification of Organic Compounds (5d ed. 1964).
  • Werner U. Spitz, Ed., Spitz and Fisher's Medicolegal Investigation of Death: Guidelines for the Application of Pathology to Crime Investigation (4th ed. 2006).
  • Stephen M. Stahl, Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology: Prescriber’s Guide (5th ed. 2014).
  • David R. Teddy, DWI Trial Notebook (2d ed. 2006).
  • Deborah Tuerkheimer, Flawed Convictions: “Shaken Baby Syndrome” and the Inertia of Injustice (2014).
  • Jeffrey B. Welty, Digital Evidence (2015).

Online Resources

  • National Registry of Exonerations - This database contains information on all known exonerations in the U.S., dating back to 1989. This is a joint project of the University of the Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law.
  • "Convicting the Innocent": Data and Materials - this online library of materials contains documents and research data compiled by Prof. Brandon Garrett in his review of the first 250 DNA exonerations. Materials are arranged by subject and include resources on confessions, eyewitness misidentifications, and forensics, among other topics.
  • Lab Scandal List - Forensic Solutions, LLC has prepared this list describing examples of lab misconduct throughout the US. Citations to news articles and cases are included. This website would be useful for attorneys seeking examples of lab misconduct outside of NC. Scroll down to "Cases" to find descriptions of dozens of cases.
  • Crime Lab and Forensic Scandals - NACDL's list of crime lab and forensic scandals from 2007-2015.

Articles

  • Recent news articles - this page contains links to recent press coverage of local and national cases related to forensic science in general and is updated regularly. See the topic pages on this website for articles on specific fields of forensic science.
  • Crime labs under microscope after a string of shoddy, suspect and fraudulent results by Mark Hansen, ABA Journal, Sept. 1, 2013. This article reviews recent lab scandals in labs including the NY Medical Examiner's office, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, West Virginia, and other accredited and unaccredited labs. The article looks at systemic problems such as variability in the reliability of forensic techniques, the dearth of peer-reviewed scientific studies of forensic techniques, lack of resources for labs, the role of law enforcement in running labs, and deficiencies in accreditation and certification programs.
  • Predicting and Preventing Wrongful Convictions - this NIJ-funded research looked at 460 violent felonies between 1980 and 2012 to determine what factors led to a wrongful conviction of an innocent defendant instead of dismissal or acquittal. Factors identified by researchers include: a younger defendant, a criminal history, a weak prosecution case, prosecution withheld evidence, lying by a non-eyewitness, unintentional witness misidentification, misinterpreting forensic evidence at trial, a weak defense, defendant offered a family witness, and a "punitive" state culture.
  • Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science - this book by Professor David. A. Harris looks at why wrongful convictions occur and seeks to explain why law enforcement and prosecutors resist adopting improved forensic practices. The first chapter can be downloaded for free by clicking on the "Download This Paper" button.
  • Forensic Crime Labs: Scrutinizing Results, Audits and Accreditation, Part I and Part II - by Frederic Whitehurst, 2004. These articles provide a checklist of items to request in discovery from a forensic lab and explains the significance of each item. NACDL membership is required to access these articles.
  • The North Carolina Crime Lab Scandal - by Paul C. Giannelli. This 2012 article published in Criminal Justice by the American Bar Association summarizes the issues in the Greg Taylor case, the investigation of the Forensic Biology Section of the SBI Crime Lab, and legislative changes that resulted.
  • Policy Guidance on the Assessment and Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Section 6(b) of this April 10, 2012 Department of the Army Memorandum addresses the importance the bio-psycho-social context in evaluating and treating PTSD. See the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Management of Post-Traumatic Stress for the full 2010 clinical practice guideline.
  • The North Carolina Advocates for Justice published these three articles related to forensic science in the October 2011 issue of Trial Briefs.
  • Forensic Science: Why No Research? by Paul C. Giannelli. This paper addresses the scientific, law enforcement and legal reasons for a lack of research across many forensic disciplines from a historical perspective as well as in light of the National Academy of Sciences' report. Click on "one-click download" to view the full text article.
  • The Need for a Research Culture in the Forensic Sciences by Jennifer L. Mnookin, Simon A. Cole, Itiel E. Dror, Barry A. J. Fisher, Max M. Houck, Keith Inman, David H. Kaye, Jonathan J. Koehler, Glenn Langenburg, D. Michael Risinger, Norah Rudin, Jay Siegel, and David A. Stoney. Explores to what extent forensic sciences need to change to develop a well-established scientific foundation. Finds that a research culture, grounded in empiricism, transparency, and a commitment to an ongoing critical perspective needs to be developed.
  • Invalid Forensic Science Testimony and Wrongful Convictions by Brandon Garrett and Peter Neufeld, Virginia Law Review, Vol. 95, No. 1 (2009) - a study of the forensic science testimony by prosecution experts in the trials persons later exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing.
  • Smart on Crime See Ch. 5, page 48 for The Smart on Crime Coalition's 2011 recommendations regarding unvalidated or improperly applied forensic science.
  • If the Shoe Fits They Might Acquit: The Value of Forensic Science Testimony 2011 law review article by Jonathan Koehler that discusses how juries evaluate forensic evidence and what cross examination strategies work (or don't) when dealing with forensic evidence. From the abstract, click on the "One-Click Download" link to view the entire article.
  • She Blinded Me with Science: Wrongful Convictions and the 'Reverse CSI-Effect'
  • 2011 law review article by Mark A. Godsey, Director of the Ohio Innocence Project. The article examines the problem of "junk science" through examples of innocence cases and asks whether CSI-type shows contribute to jurors' over-reliance on forensic testimony. From the abstract, click on the "One-Click Download" link to view the entire article.

Training Materials

Statutes

Discovery

Forensic Evidence

Rules of Evidence - Opinions and Expert Testimony