Do You Know The Difference Between Diagnostic Medicine and Forensic Medicine?

“Dr. Young, when was the last time you took care of a sick child?” This is a question I am asked frequently during cross-examination while testifying in court. The attorney cross-examining me implies to the jury through this question that his experts — in this case practitioners of clinical medicine — are more qualified than […]

Attorneys and Judges, You Can Stop the Madness Now

Yes, I know the title is provocative. I hope it has earned your undivided attention because we all count on you to do what is right. Several of your own — other attorneys — wrote this statement: “Forensic science expert evidence that is erroneous (that is, honest mistakes) and fraudulent (deliberate misrepresentation) has been found […]

Is Sherlock Holmes’ “reasoning backwards” a reliable method for discovering truth?

Analyses of four medicolegal cases. Note: The figures referenced in the article and described at the conclusion of the article were not published on the website due to their graphic nature. They are available upon request. Simply contact me with your request. ABSTRACT The method of “reasoning backwards” expounded by mystery author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through his […]

An Inferential Test for Expert Testimony

One can be reasonably certain if witness accounts of the past are consistent or not consistent with physical evidence in the present, but one cannot reliably surmise past events from physical evidence unless there is only one plausible explanation for that evidence. The wordy statement above seems difficult to understand at first, but the concepts […]

Forensic Science and the Scientific Method

ABSTRACT The scientific method, a time-honored approach for discovering and testing scientific truth, does not and cannot work for the forensic sciences in its standard form because it does not work for past events. Past events cannot be observed, cannot be predicted or deduced from physical evidence, and cannot be tested experimentally. The forensic scientific […]