Turning a Blind Eye to Misleading Scientific Testimony: Failure of Procedural Safeguards in a Capital Case

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Title Turning a Blind Eye to Misleading Scientific Testimony: Failure of Procedural Safeguards in a Capital Case
Author Thompson, William C.; Dioso-Villa, Rachel
Journal Name Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology
Year Published 2008
Place of publication United States
Publisher Albany Law School
Abstract In September 1999, Robin Lovitt was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a pool hall manager in Arlington, Virginia. The DNA evidence that was a key part of the government's case was presented in a misleading and unfair manner. In this case study, we first examine the way in which DNA evidence was misused. We then discuss the failure of the legal system at all levels to recognize and remedy this problem. Our goal is to explain how a system that supposedly leaves no stone unturned in capital trials managed to miss or ignore a crucial problem with the scientific evidence that supported the conviction. We argue that the Lovitt case is indicative of systemic problems with the use of scientific evidence that could affect the fairness of criminal trials nationwide, and we suggest legal and institutional reforms that may help minimize the risk of similar problems in the future.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.albanylawjournal.org/article.php?id=12
Volume 18
Issue Number 1
Page from 151
Page to 204
ISSN 1059-4280
Date Accessioned 2011-07-06
Date Available 2011-08-24T07:14:58Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance; ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Law and Legal Studies
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/40290
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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