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Crime lab veteran discusses forensic evidence
BY MATOVU ABDALLAH TWAHA April 03, 2017
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DUBAI: A retired crime laboratory expert in America has guided participants of the 1st edition of the Emirates Forensic Conference and Exhibition on how legal courts can admit forensic issues, a science some of them deem “junk.”

Barry AJ Fisher, a retired crime lab director with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, made his take yesterday at the opening of the April 2-4 conference organised by the Dubai Police together with Index Conferences and Exhibition at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre under the theme “Digital Forensics Science”.

He said the problem stems from the general lack of statistical evidence in backing forensic cases, thus leaving expert witnesses to rely on “it is my opinion that…”, yet the lawyers stand for proving cases “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

“The ‘general acceptance’ in the scientific community does not equal general acceptance in the legal community,” he said.

He was presenting a paper entitled “Challenges Facing Forensic Science in the United States – Admissibility of Pattern Evidence.”

It was one of 100 scientific lectures that were presented simultaneously in two halls.

Fisher advised that judges, defenders and prosecutors “need more schooling about forensic sciences including its limitations and strength, but sadly law schools do not teach it,” and that “experts should explain in detail on how they reached their opinion.”

The conference is held with an exhibition of mainly technological and forensic science where 80 exhibitors and over 2,000 participants from 25 countries are in attendance.

The conference was opened by the Deputy Chairman of Dubai Police and Public Security, Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, in the presence of a bevy of leaders including Dubai’s Attorney General and the Immigration head.

During the opening ceremony, the General Director of Forensic Science and Criminology Department at Dubai Police, Major General Dr Ahmad Eid Al Mansoori, stressed on the “importance of preparedness for the future, with its surprises and requirements, the need to anticipate the future and the full readiness to deal with intelligent crime using advanced and complex tools.”

He recalled late Lt General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, may his soul rest in peace, had laid the foundation of this conference. He was keen to hold it at the earliest possible opportunity, as he knew the great benefit it will have on all participants coming from the region and the world.

Emirates Forensic is a top niche platform that serves the GCC and the Mena region, as it is considered an international platform for meeting experts from all over the world to exchange knowledge and acknowledge the latest techniques in forensic science.
 

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