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December 2016 , Page 60 

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Book Review: Forensics - What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime

By Allan F. Brooke II

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What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNAand More Tell Us About Crime

By Val McDermid
Grove Press (2014)


It may be that we as defense attorneys are too quick to roll our eyes at the supposed travails of prosecutors, but one has only to Google “CSI effect” to find that many prosecutors feel like they are unfairly being asked to provide forensic evidence of a quality comparable to that shown on television in every criminal case. The concern, often voiced, is that if a juror is not presented with DNA tests, ballistics data, or at least fingerprint evidence, it appears that the police or FBI simply did not do their jobs.

This effect — or even just the perception that it exists — probably means that defense attorneys can expect more and more forensic evidence presented “for effect” in the courtroom. Even if the ballistics of a shooting are not particularly germane to the guilt or innocence of the defendant, the evidence may be presented to convince the jury that proper c

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