Video Meant to Help Juries Understand Forensic Testimony

Research has shown that jurors tend to overestimate their ability to understand and evaluate forensic evidence, such as that related to fingerprints or tire impressions. So a team at FIU has developed a video to help jurors understand such evidence and avoid errors that could result in a wrongful conviction. The team includes Deborah Goldfarb, Jacqueline Evans, and Nadja Compo.

The video explains what types of statements are (and are not) appropriate for forensic experts to make, based on U.S. Department of Justice guidelines. It also explains that juries are required to consider, but not necessarily to accept, expert testimony. Participants that watched the video before a mock trial were more likely to appropriately differentiate between low- and high-quality forensic testimony.

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