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News Posted on February 16, 2017

Professor Imwinkelried Signs onto Amicus Brief in Evidence Case

Professor Edward Imwinkelried signed onto an amicus brief in a Colorado Court of Appeals case challenging toolmark identification evidence.

In its 2009 report, Strengthening Forensic Evidence in the United States: A Path Forward, the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science was highly critical of toolmark identification evidence.  The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology echoed that criticism in its September 2016 report on Forensic Science in Criminal Courts

Citing that criticism, a group of law professors and scientists recently filed an amicus curiae brief, challenging toolmark identification testimony, in a Colorado Court of Appeals case, People v. Genrich.  In the trial court, a Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agent testified that tools found in the accused's toolbox were the only ones in the world that could have made the marks found on the wires used in a number of pipe bombs.  The amicus brief challenges the empirical basis for that testimony.  The signatories include Professor Ed Imwinkelried and Professor Paul Giannelli, Professor Imwinkelried's coauthor on Scientific Evidence (5th ed. 2012).

Professor Imwinkelried is a world-renowned evidence expert who has published extensively in the field.