Lawyers Get Crash Course to Avoid Wrongful ConvictionsJun 15, 2012
by Madeleine Baran
A man in a bathtub filled with blood. A dead woman, half-naked, lying face down in her kitchen. A child stabbed with a knife.
|Forensic anthropologist Susan Myster showed the defense attorneys gathered at the Forensics 411 training a photo of bone fragments gathered from a crime scene. The body had been set on fire. "Many criminals think that you can totally consume a body by fire, but they soon find out you can't," Myster said. Courtesy of Linnea Stephan|
The photos, part of a lecture by the Hennepin County medical examiner, horrified the defense attorneys who had gathered in the dimly lit room. But they knew they needed to look. The lives of their clients depended on it.
The attorneys had gathered for a crash course on forensic science, organized by the Innocence Project of Minnesota, to help prevent wrongful convictions. Many in the room had followed media coverage of cases in which innocent people went to prison based on junk science and false testimony from forensic experts. The cases alarmed defense attorneys, who worried they lack the right kind of training to detect problems with science in the courtroom.
Source: MPR News