Course Details

Forensic Science

The use of forensic science evidence in the courtroom has expanded dramatically over the past 25 years. At the same time, criticism of even the most venerable forensic sciences (e.g., fingerprints) has intensified. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the various forensic sciences and forensic science claims? What are the best arguments for getting forensic science evidence admitted and excluded? What kind of guidance do existing laws, standards, and high court opinions provide? How do legal decision makers respond to this type of evidence? This course examines these questions across various forensic subfields (e.g., DNA, document examination, forensic linguistics) with an eye toward identifying why some forensic science claims are more probative than others, and what lawyers need to know about forensics to present and challenge this type of evidence in court. Evaluation Method: The class will include lectures, discussions, in-class problems, short video clips, an occasional guest speaker, and student presentations. Grades will be based on class participation, weekly question-statements, a group presentation, and a one-hour test (open book, open notes). Class Materials: Weekly readings will be posted online.

Catalog Number: LITARB 631


Course History

Spring 2015
Title: Forensic Science
Faculty: Koehler, Jonathan (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 65     Actual: 32