AuthorElizabeth F. Loftus
ProfessionDistinguished Professor
Foreword to the First Edition
  ’ excellent book on expert evidence in criminal law, someone
notes that the age of the expert has truly arrived because great portions of trials
are now consumed by expert testimony. I should know as I have played a part
in this endeavour, having testied in over  trials during the last quarter-cen-
tury. Although I make every eort to be scientical ly accurate, I recognize that
personal biases (for example, an abiding belief that a defendant is innocent)
might oc casionally a ect my testimony, however s ubtly.
Expert Evidence in Criminal Law: e Scientic Approach makes clear the
problems that courts have faced when dubious testimony about single cases, or
about a study that involves multiple cases, is proered. Lawyers and judges are
not typically in a good position to scrutinize the testimony as thoroughly as it
should b e. One less on from the e xamples t hat Gold prov ides is th at it is impo rt-
ant to continually ask not only “What is the evidence for your claim?” but to
insist that the “expert” provide more than authors of the study and where it was
published, and be able to describe precisely what form the evidence takes.
is book is an eye-opener to anyone who mistakenly believes all experts
and their evidence can be trusted as the truth. Although Gold admits that ex-
pert scientic evidence has contributed greatly to the administration of justice,
he points out the concerns about the quality of this evidence and the lack of
scientic litera cy of judges and law yers— to say noth ing of ordinary jury mem-
bers whose scientic education is equally minimal. Gold gives many examples
of “junk science” used in the justice system, and he shows you how to dierenti-
ate between the worthwhile and the worthless “expert” evidence, stating that
the scientic perspective contains “the only reliable standard by which opin-
ions can be judged.” Reading this book will give you the necessary questions

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