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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Thornton P. Knowles On Courtroom Charlatans

In a court of law, a phony or hired-gun forensic scientist can be more persuasive than his or her more qualified and ethical counterpart. This is true because jurors make judgements based on how expert witnesses look, act, and speak. It's all about witness box demeanor. Not all jurors analyze or fully understand an expert's resume. A courtroom charlatan who can act the part is often more believable that a real expert. Trial attorneys and judges can sort this out by challenging and disqualifying the phonies. Very few do. When an "expert" can be found to testify on every side of an issue, it produces the dueling expert problem that hurts forensic science and creates havoc in American jurisprudence.

Thornton P. Knowles

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