A4J Book Talk: Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System

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A4J Book Talk: Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System

April 7 All day

On Thursday, April 7, 2022, the Academy for Justice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law hosted a book talk with the author of Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System, M. Chris Fabricant, Director of Strategic Litigation at the Innocence Project and one of the nation’s leading experts on forensic sciences and the criminal justice system. 

From CSI to forensic files to the celebrated reputation of the FBI crime lab, forensic scientists have long been mythologized in American popular culture as infallible crime solvers. Juries put their faith in “expert witnesses” and innocent people have been executed as a result. Innocent people are on death row today, condemned by junk science.

In 2012, the Innocence Project began searching for prisoners convicted by junk science, and three men, each convicted of capital murder, became M. Chris Fabricant’s clients. Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System chronicles the fights to overturn their wrongful convictions and to end the use of the “science” that destroyed their lives. Weaving together courtroom battles from Mississippi to Texas to New York City and beyond, Fabricant takes the reader on a journey into the heart of a broken, racist system of justice and the role forensic science plays in maintaining the status quo.

The Academy for Justice book talk included a conversation with M. Chris Fabricant and exoneree Keith Harward, and was moderated by ASU Law Regents Professor Michael Saks, faculty fellow with the Center for Law, Science and Innovation.