Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science


Product Details

New York University Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.27 X 0.81 inches | 1.12 pounds

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About the Author

David A. Harris is Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Good Cops: The Case for Preventive Policing and Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work. He lives in Pittsburgh.


"David Harris, the nation's leading expert on racial profiling, turns his attention in this timely book to exposing the flaws in three standard investigative techniques used to solve crimes: interrogations, eyewitness identifications, and forensic science. In clear, accessible language, he shows how these flaws can lead juries to convict innocent individuals. He also discusses why those in the best position to address these flaws are likely to resist reform. A must-read for anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the criminal justice system."--Cynthia Lee, Charles Kennedy Poe Research Professor of Law, George Washington University
"Failed Evidence is a masterful expose of both the flaws in our criminal justice system and the reasons many police and prosecutors are unwilling to correct them. If real change is to occur, would-be reformers need to ingest this book. Its prescriptions, all based on the latest scientific findings, would go a long way toward eliminating wrongful convictions and ensuring accurate verdicts."--Christopher Slobogin, Vanderbilt University Law School
"This book should be required reading for every potential juror."--Post-Gazette
"For readers interesting in the phenomenon of unwarranted skepticism toward science, the book's chief value lies in Harris' detailed account of social and psychological factors that cause police and prosecutors to resist science-based reforms."--Science
"Written in a crisp and engaging style, free of legal and scientific jargon."--UTNE
"Primarily intended for those in law enforcement, forensic science, and the legal fields, this book details potential pitfalls of the way investigative work is conducted and suggests new alternatives."--Library Journal
"Overall, the book serves as a vital resource for those seeking to overcome the system's reliance on failed evidence by identifying sources of the problem and suggesting both quick and long-term remedies. It will help ensure the adoption of evidence-based methods that can achieve more accurate results in the nation's criminal justice system."--Tony Bornstein "The Champion "
"Wrongful convictions are the worst error the American criminal justice system can make. And yet in the last two decades we have learned both that we regularly convict the innocent and that, as a result of empirical advances in the social sciences, we now know what reforms are necessary to substantially decrease the risk of wrongful conviction.David Harriss well-written and engaging book, Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science, brilliantly synthesizes this research and its implications, astutely connecting the dots from the reasons why wrongful convictions occur to the solutions necessary to prevent them. If there is one book that I would recommend to policymakers, criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors, police or the members of the general public about the subject of wrongful conviction, it is Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science.This first rate book is brimming with insight and intelligence."--Richard A. Leo, University of San Francisco