Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System

Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System

by M. Chris Fabricant
Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System

Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System

by M. Chris Fabricant

Paperback

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Overview

Now in an expanded paperback edition, Innocence Project attorney M. Chris Fabricant presents an insider’s journey into the heart of a broken, racist system of justice and the role junk science plays in maintaining the status quo.

"Fierce and absorbing . . . Fabricant chronicles the battles he and his colleagues have fought to unravel a century of fraudulent experts and the bad court decisions that allowed them to thrive." Washington Post

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 still 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.

At turns gripping, enraging, illuminating, and moving, Junk Science is a meticulously researched insider's perspective of the American criminal justice system. Previously untold stories of wrongful executions, corrupt prosecutors, and quackery masquerading as science animate Fabricant’s true crime narrative. The paperback edition features a brand-new index as well as an updated introduction and final chapter chronicling the Innocence Project’s continued fight against junk science in courtrooms across America.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781636141350
Publisher: Akashic Books, Ltd.
Publication date: 08/22/2023
Pages: 408
Sales rank: 50,936
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

M. CHRIS FABRICANT is the Innocence Project’s Director of Strategic Litigation and one of the nation’s leading experts on forensic sciences and the criminal justice system. Fabricant is featured in the Netflix documentary The Innocence Files and his public commentary has been published in virtually every major media outlet. A former public defender and clinical law professor, Fabricant brings to his writing over two decades of experience ranging from litigating death penalty cases in the Deep South to misdemeanors in the South Bronx. Born in New York City and raised in Sedona, Arizona, Fabricant has lived in Brooklyn since graduating from George Washington University Law School in 1997. He is the author of Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

PART I: VIRGINIA V. KEITH ALLEN HARWARD & THE RISE OF JUNK SCIENCE

ONE: Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System
TWO: The Dentist as Forensic Scientist
THREE: Credentials, Case Law, and Ted Bundy
FOUR: Virulence
FIVE: Lethal Nonsense
SIX: Junk Science in the Supreme Court
SEVEN: Life, Liberty, and Daubert

PART II: TEXAS V. STEVEN MARK CHANEY & THE DNA REVOLUTION

ONE: The Innocence Project
TWO: The National Academy of Sciences Hearings
THREE: Steven Chaney’s Path Forward
FOUR: The Thirty-Eight Words that Moved the Junk Science Debate into Criminal Courts
FIVE: The Principle of Finality in the Age of Mass Incarceration
SIX: Denying Innocence
SEVEN: Executing the Innocent
EIGHT: Steven Chaney, Back on the Chain
NINE: Status Quo

PART III: MISSISSIPPI V. EDDIE LEE HOWARD & A JUNK SCIENCE RECKONING (OF SORTS)

ONE: A Junk Science Recall
TWO: The First Shots of the Bite Mark Wars
THREE: Steven Chaney’s New Lawyers
FOUR: Keith Harward’s Lost Lottery Ticket
FIVE: The Bite Mark Wars Get Nasty
SIX: Steven Chaney’s New Prosecutors
SEVEN: Keith Harward’s Checkmate

PART IV: EDDIE LEE HOWARD, STEVEN MARK CHANEY & THE DENTISTS’ LAST STAND

ONE: Our Heroes
TWO: The Texas Forensic Science Commission Hearings
THREE: Steven Chaney Faces His Trial Prosecutor

EPILOGUE
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
NOTES

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