Autopsy of a Crime Lab: Exposing the Flaws in Forensics

Live date: 
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 12:00pm


This on-demand webinar is a companion to Professor Brandon Garrett’s 2021 publication “Autopsy of a Crime Lab.” The content begins by covering the methods used in latent fingerprint comparisons and explaining how errors can occur. Next, the presenter summarizes the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report and the 2016 PCAST report in a companion video. Part three of the series describes different types of error rates, including false positive, negative, and inconclusive errors. Part four addresses courtroom testimony, including the problem of scientific overstatement and how to counter it.

Students will also learn to describe the problem of expert qualification and proficiency and address it in criminal investigations and trials in part five of the series. Part six discusses the problem of cognitive bias and the role it plays in forensic error. A discussion of quality control at labs and crime scenes will follow in part seven. The final video of the series will discuss judicial gatekeeping and conclude the series.

All virtual CLE for a given month is reported on the first business day of the following month. If you are unable to view the program in its entirety before the end of the month, please contact Monica Yelverton at

Public defender offices may receive a copy of the publication at no charge. Contact Marlyn Dail at for details. Limited copies are available. 

Please note that video content is slightly longer than the permitted CLE credit. 


Brandon Garrett, L. Neil Williams, Jr. Professor of Law, Duke University 
Free Presentations Below (No CLE Credit). If you want CLE credit, click "Purchase" button above.


Additional Information

For additional information about indigent defense education courses and resources, visit our Public Defense Education site.
2.25 hours
CLE Value:
2.25 hrs
2.25 hrs

Faculty Coordinator

For questions regarding course details, please contact the program manager.

Faculty Coordinator

individual image for Monica Yelverton
Associate Director of Programs and Services, Public Defense Education
For questions regarding course content, please contact the faculty coordinator.

Faculty Coordinator

For questions regarding registration, resetting passwords, or login issues, please contact Registration at or 919-966-4414.
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