Please Read the Following:
SCIENCE-DEPENDENT PROSECUTION AND THE PROBLEM OF EPISTEMIC CONTINGENCY: A STUDY OF SHAKEN BABY SYNDROM
"The path of scientific change is unforeseeable and may be marked by
abrupt shifts in course. When these shifts occur, our criminal justice system is ill-equipped to respond expeditiously; it thus lags behind scientific
frontiers. In an age where science-dependent prosecutions are proliferating, this failure is of particular concern. Because it is fully constructed by
and dependent on medical expertise, Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) raises
in stark form the problems that arise when science outpaces law—most
troublingly, the prospect that we are imprisoning people who have committed no crime. The trajectory of SBS in the criminal courts reveals fundamental limitations of our system’s ability to absorb forensic advances in a
manner consistent with the administration of justice. The law may ultimately align itself with the latest scientific thinking, but it is doing so slowly, arbitrarily, and in a wholly unreasoned (and unstudied) fashion. In the
interim, we are witnessing patterned injustice.
This Article constructs a conceptual framework that describes and critiques how criminal justice evolves in the wake of scientific change. It thus
begins the process of reforming institutions, laws, and practices to better
account for the tentative nature of scientific orthodoxy. By priming the
system to deal more effectively with epistemic contingency, we affirm our
commitment to protecting the innocent."