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Legal expert to address why law enforcement resists science Jan. 31

David Harris, the leading national authority on racial profiling and a former professor at The University of Toledo College of Law (from 1990 – 2007), will return to Toledo on Jan. 31 to discuss his new book, “Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science.”

The free, public lecture will be held at noon, Thursday, Jan. 31, in the College’s McQuade Law Auditorium. Harris’s book will be available for purchase and signature.



With almost 300 DNA-based exonerations over two decades, there is now abundant data about the basic things that go wrong in eyewitness identifications, in suspect interrogations, and in forensic science. In his new book, Harris points out that the science concerning these issues is rigorous, well documented, and replicated. Yet, with the exception of DNA, law enforcement has not embraced this science. Most often, it has actively resisted science. Harris’s lecture will explore why.

“I have known David Harris for over 20 years, and he has had insightful things to say about any issue he studies,” said Daniel J. Steinbock, dean of the College of Law. “The use, misuse, or non-use of scientific evidence goes directly to the accuracy of the criminal process, and I look forward to Professor Harris’s diagnosis of the problem and prescriptions for its solution.”

David Harris, currently a professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, studies, writes, and teaches about police behavior and regulation, law enforcement, and national security issues and the law.

His 2002 book, Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work, and his scholarly articles in the field of traffic stops of minority motorists and stops and frisks have influenced the national debate on profiling and related topics. His 2005 book, Good Cops: The Case for Preventive Policing, uses case studies from around the country to show that citizens can be safe from criminals and terrorists without sacrificing their civil rights if law enforcement uses strategies based on prevention.

Harris also writes and comments frequently in the media on police practices, racial profiling, and other criminal justice and national security issues. He has appeared on The Today Show, Dateline NBC, National Public Radio, and has been interviewed by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times, among many others.

Harris received an LL.M. from Georgetown University Graduate School of Law, a law degree from Yale Law School, and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.

Click here to download a photo of Harris.

Media Coverage
The Blade (Jan. 28, 2013)
The Independent Collegian (Jan. 30, 2013)


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