Science Law And The Search For Truth In The Courtroom Analysis

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Richard Redding and N. Dickson Reppucci in "Effects of Lawyers ' Socio-political Attitudes on Their Judgements of Social Science in Legal Decision Making” and Joan Bertin and Mary Henifin in "Science, Law, and the Search for Truth in the Courtroom: Lessons from Daubert v. Merrell Dow” discuss the competing opposing systems of law and science, which form the reasoning of why many scientific evidence is largely disregarded in court settings. Redding and Reppucci believe that this contradiction comes from socio-political beliefs and accustomed assumptions of lawyers, as social sciences often invalidate these beliefs. According to Bertin and Henifin, this contradiction is the result of the continuously changing opinions of scientists. The authors …show more content…
Validity, the legal justness and correctness of evidence in a particular case, is hard to distinguish in many court settings that include scientific evidence. Since both opposing forces will have equal sufficient evidence, the problem arises when trying to differentiate which of the opinions is the most accurate one, so the validity of scientific evidence is often a major dilemma that is viewed with suspicion. Since scientific results are subject to questioning all the time, Bertin and Henifin conclude that judges do not want to carry this "burden of uncertainty" and that many court settings believe scientific evidence should be screened, published, and peer-reviewed before entering the courtroom to ensure validity. Therefore, scientific evidence should be gone through the steps stated above to be considered a valid and have the respect as it came from …show more content…
Law, an adversary system in which opposing sides fight vigorous cases with definite and permanent final decisions, differs greatly from science, an ever-changing fluid system based on new and modified hypotheses. Both depend on the expertise, the required skill or knowledge of the respective field, to be seen as reputable and respected. Bertin and Henifin explain that since the court must make a permanent decision based on the current information that it holds, consequently resulting in science may not always be the best answer since it is always subject to revision. Thus, scientific hypotheses can result in unfair sentencing. In addition, Bertin and Henifin stress that disputes need to be resolved quickly and with science continuously changing, it can take an extremely long time to come to a verdict, leading many judges to be hesitant when using scientific evidence in the

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