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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Courtroom Charlatan

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 than a real expert. While trial attorneys and judges could 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 attenuates forensic science and creates havoc in American jurisprudence.

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