How Bad Science Is Corrupting the Justice System

  • 5:00-7:00 pm
  • Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA

Many forensic disciplines are used in courtrooms despite grave questions about their accuracy and reliability. Faulty forensic science is the second-most common contributing factor to wrongful convictions, found in nearly half of DNA exoneration cases — yet questionable practices like analyzing bloodstain patterns, hairs, bite marks and tire impressions remain fixtures of the American legal system.

Join ProPublica, the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, and the New York Times Magazine for an event that will look at faulty forensic testimony in the courtroom, its devastating consequences and efforts around the country that show the potential for reform. Co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice Policy Program.


  • Nicole Cásarez, Board Director of the Houston Forensic Science Center
  • Pamela Colloff, Senior Reporter at ProPublica & Writer at Large for New York Times Magazine
  • Hon. Nancy Gertner, Harvard Law School Senior Lecturer & ret. federal district judge
  • Radha Natarajan, Executive Director of the New England Innocence Project
  • Moderated by Katy Naples-Mitchell, Houston Institute Legal Fellow