UCF Brings the Evidence

Forensic Science confrence RESIZED

L to R – Dr. Bridge, Mr. Wesley, Ms. Remley, Dr. Sigman, Professor Kaye, Professor McKee, Ms. Ramsey, Professor Murphy

On March 11, Michael Sigman, Ph.D., Candice Bridge, Ph.D., and Erika Remley, M.S., presented at the Conference on the Modern Interpretation of Forensic Evidence at Florida A&M University, College of Law in downtown Orlando. The conference, a Continued Legal Education (CLE) training event, was aimed towards criminal law practitioners to help them understand advanced scientific practices that will better prepare them for evidentiary issues at trial.

The conference featured both scientists and attorneys who are experts in the area of forensic science. Each speaker discussed a type of evidence that requires scientific analysis in order to be admissible at trial. The topics included forensic science evidence, fiber analysis, DNA evidence, fire debris evidence and impression evidence. Case studies regarding each topic were also discussed during presentations.

Dr. Sigman, Professor of Chemistry and the Director of the National Center for Forensic Science (NCFS), presented “Inferential Validation in Forensic Science.” During his presentation he specifically talked about the validation of inference in forensic physical evidence and conveying the value of inference and evidence interpretation to the court.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and NCFS faculty, Dr. Bridge, presented an “Analysis of Fire Debris Evidence.” She spoke on how the scientific method is applied to fire debris evidence, educational background of fire debris analysis, and what attorneys should be looking for in crime lab reports.

Mrs. Remley, NCFS Online Training staff, spoke about “Impression Evidence (Latent Prints and Footwear Impressions).” She explained the scientific method as applied to impression evidence, the educational background of impression analysis, how the analysis is conducted in the crime lab, as well as shortcomings of the discipline.

Along with the UCF faculty, Professor David Kaye also spoke at this conference. Professor Kaye, Associate Dean for Research at Pennsylvania State Law School, spoke as part of the NCFS Speaker Series, “Intersection of Science, Statistics, and the Law.” At the speaker series Professor Kaye discussed “Evidence, Probability, and Error: Three Cases.” UCF colleagues were invited to the conference to listen to Professor Kaye’s talk focusing on case studies.

The audience was comprised of attorneys from several counties in the Central Florida area. This workshop was well received by the audience and they asked many questions regarding how the science can be admitted into a court of law and specific issues that they have encountered in the Florida State System. Dr. Bridge explained that the “attendees were interested in identifying scientific articles that they can use to support their arguments in the court room and asked how objective interpretation of evidence could be employed in their cases.”

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