Law college hosts conference on future of forensic science

January 6, 2009

The world's leading experts on forensic science will gather at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law in April to discuss a highly anticipated national report that is expected to identify the needs of attorneys, judges, crime lab technicians, criminalists, law professors and others who work with forensic science evidence.

The Center for the Study of Law, Science, & Technology will host the conference, "Forensic Science for the 21st Century: The National Academy of Sciences Report and Beyond," on April 3-4 in Armstrong Hall. Co-sponsors of the conference, for which up to seven hours per day of Continuing Legal Education will be available, are the Science and Technology and the Criminal Justice sections of the American Bar Association and The National Judicial College. Download Full Image

In addition to experts from major research institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley, Harvard Law School, the University of Michigan Law School, the University of California, Irvine, the University of Virginia and ASU, among others, participants will include state and federal judges, the co-chairmen of the National Academy of Sciences Forensic Science Committee, the president of the American Association of Forensic Sciences. The directors of the FBI Crime Laboratory and the Innocence Project, and prosecutors, defense attorneys, forensic scientists, and criminalists also will be involved.

Papers from the conference's proceedings will be published in the ABA-ASU journal, Jurimetrics: The Journal of Law, Science, and Technology, and in the Oxford University Press journal, Law, Probability & Risk.

As part of the conference, The Honorable Harry T. Edwards, Senior Circuit Judge and Chief Judge Emeritus of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and co-chair of the NAS Forensic Science Committee, will deliver the annual Willard H. Pedrick Lecture. The title of Judge Edwards' talk, scheduled for the afternoon of April 3, is, "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward."

In addition, a CLE seminar on the morning of April 3 will acclimate attorneys, judges and others less familiar with current practices in forensic science. "An Introduction to Scientific Evidence: Principles and Practice," will outline the legal doctrine governing scientific evidence, the principles of forensic science and current controversies in this fascinating intersection of science and law.

Throughout the two-day conference, discussions will be held about the report, expected to be released in January, and specifically focused on topics such as building a more scientific foundation for forensic science, problems in its collection and analysis, its role in the war on terror and how its use can produce fewer erroneous convictions and judicial decisions.

For more information about the conference, and to register, go to">">, or e-mail any of the conference co-chairmen, David Kaye at david.kaye">">, Jay Koehler at jay.koehler">">, or Michael Saks at michael.saks">"> or Center Director Sandy Askland at andrew.askland">">

Janie Magruder,"> color="#0000ff">
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Expert on modern slavery to speak in Phoenix

January 6, 2009

The world’s leading expert on slavery will visit Arizona State University’s West campus on Jan. 20, for an event that is free and open to the public.

Kevin Bales, president of the international nonprofit organization Free the Slaves, will deliver a presentation entitled “End World Slavery Now,” at 12:00 p.m. in the La Sala ballroom of the University Center Building at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road. Bales’ appearance is sponsored by ASU’s Master of Arts in Social Justice and Human Rights (MASJHR) degree program and co-sponsored by The Light of Hope Foundation and ALERT (International Rescue Committee).

“Perhaps no single person has done more to end slavery in all its forms than Professor Bales,” says Michael Stancliff, assistant professor of rhetoric in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. “His visit to the West campus will be a tremendous learning opportunity for MASJHR students, and we are excited to offer the public the opportunity to meet him as well.”

The Jan. 20 public lecture is part of a two-day visit to Phoenix by Bales, who also will serve as a guest lecturer in the “Contemporary Slavery and Human Trafficking” course that Stancliff is team-teaching with Frances Bernat, an associate professor of criminal justice. Bales also will meet with community leaders from the co-sponsoring organizations during his visit.

“It is a common misconception that slavery is a problem of the past,” says Bales, a professor emeritus of sociology at Roehampton University London. “The current number of people enslaved worldwide – 27 million – is larger than at any time in human history. The price to purchase a slave is lower today than it has ever been.”

While the problem is greatest in areas of Asia and Africa, slavery exists in the United States as well. The U.S. State Department estimates that at least 14,500 people annually are trafficked into the country and forced into slavery, on farms and in factories, in the sex industry, and as domestic servants.

Bales’ organization, Free the Slaves, works around the globe with governments, businesses, and grassroots organizations in an effort to eradicate slavery. His book Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and published in ten languages. Bales has served as a consultant to the United Nations Global Program on Human Trafficking and as an advisor to the U.S., British, Irish, Norwegian, and Nepali governments.

For more information about Bales’ visit to Phoenix, email Michael.Stancliff">"> or call (602) 543-6241. Download Full Image