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Forensic Evidence in Court book jacket View Table of Contents and Introductory Material

This page refers to an out of print or superseded title.

Forensic Evidence in Court: A Case Study Approach

Forensic Evidence in Court

A Case Study Approach

$47.00 416 pp paper

Tags: Courts, Evidence, Evidence, Forensics/Evidence, Law/Paralegal Studies, Legal Issues, Paralegal

Teacher's Manual available

This title is out of print and may have reduced or no availability. Please contact us for more information about ordering. (919) 489-7486.

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Forensic Evidence in Court covers the use of forensic evidence at trial through expert testimony as well as court challenges to many types of forensic evidence. The case study is the 1973 murder of Penney Serra in New Haven, Connecticut, which remained a cold case until 1997, when Ed Grant was identified based on a fingerprint match and subsequently convicted. The text examines forensic evidence in the Grant trial, including fingerprint, DNA, blood spatter, and eyewitness identification. It also examines trial strategy, handwriting testimony, polygraph, and exonerations based on newly-discovered DNA.

The book examines:

  • What is circumstantial evidence? Is it as good as direct evidence? Why is forensic evidence circumstantial?
  • What causes eyewitnesses to remember a particular face when later events prove that he is not the person they saw?
  • Why does an appeals court allow an evidence ruling of a trial court to stand, even where the appeals court might have made a different decision?
  • Do defendants have a Constitutional right to present certain evidence, such as polygraph, in their defense?
  • How can the court determine if evidence is based on a reliable science that has been reliably applied?

This book can be used in courses for the following degrees: paralegal, criminal justice, sociology, and political science. Forensic Evidence in Court is also appropriate for use in a legal specialty course. Assignments include case law research, study of rules of evidence, how to select and prepare an expert witness, comparison of legal tests used to admit forensic evidence, study of standards used to review admission of forensic experts on appeal, and written work demonstrating critical analysis.

Any attorney can teach this course, using the Teacher's Manual and sample assignments. Adjuncts experienced in criminal law or extensive use of expert testimony are particularly well suited. Guest lecturers from state forensic laboratories and state law enforcement forensic investigators give added perspective.

The author teaches the course through distance education and can offer the course at your institution. She can be contacted at

“I am really impressed with this text. It is a brilliant piece of educational/legal writing” — Rex Gay, Portland State University

PowerPoint slides available upon adoption. To see sample slides from this 283-slide presentation, click here. Email for more information.

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