Start Date: 6/22/2018 12:30 PM EDT
End Date: 6/22/2018 2:30 PM EDT
National Association for Public Defense
Challenging Fingerprint Evidence
June 22, 2018, 12:30 p.m. Eastern, 120 minutes
Webinar Faculty: Andre Vitale, Assistant Training Director, King County Department of Public Defense
About the Webinar:
Fingerprints have long been considered a smoking gun since 1910 when they were first introduced in criminal prosecutions. Since that time their admissibility and reliability have gone largely unchallenged. The Brandon Mayfield case and the Plaza decision in 1999 provided hope that fingerprint evidence would start to be viewed in a whole new light. However, the momentum created by those situations has seemed to fade and gone largely untapped. In light of the recent movement to improve forensic science discovery and evidentiary standards in criminal trials, the time has come to reignite the fire against fingerprint evidence. This presentation will discuss the substantive and procedural issues involved in litigating fingerprint evidence. We will discuss the actions that should be taken and motions an attorney should file to ensure they are provided full discovery and access to the prosecution’s fingerprint evidence. This information is necessary for the defense lawyer to prepare for trial and provide the defense expert a fair opportunity to conduct their own investigation. We will discuss the different ways in which to try and challenge the admissibility of fingerprint evidence. The presentation will also provide attorneys ideas on trying limit the manner in which fingerprint testimony is presented by the prosecution as well as ways to undermine its persuasiveness with the jury.
About the Faculty:
Andre has served as a public defense lawyer for over 19 years as a trial lawyer, training director, educator, and mentor. He has extensive trial experience taking more than 90 cases to verdict, while handling some of the most complex matters. He has developed an expertise in defending homicide and sex cases, with a proficiency in contesting forensic and other technical evidence, including DNA, fingerprints, CSAAS, and eyewitness identification. Andre developed much of his knowledge through his own diligence, but is always happy to share the lessons he has learned with other lawyers so they can benefit from his experience to develop their own skill base and confidence. As a Training Director he has created new, innovative, and interactive programs designed to help attorneys develop legal knowledge, confidence in their abilities, and the skills necessary to be successful lawyers, as well as inspire them to serve as client–centered, relentless advocates for their clients. He has developed programs designed for new attorneys as well as advanced trial skills programs for more experienced lawyers. Andre designed a Defending a Child Sex Case advanced trial skills program, which has been used by State Public Defender Offices in Montana, Missouri, and New Jersey. He is a core faculty member with Gideon’s Promise (gideonspromise.org) and Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute Trial Advocacy Workshop (TAW). He has also served on the faculty of the Colorado Alternate Defense Counsel Litigation Academy; the New Jersey Office of the State Defender Trial Skills program; the Bronx Defender’s Academy; the Louisiana Public Defender Training Institute; the Litigation and Persuasion Institute (Kentucky); the Litigation and Talent Academy (Seattle); and Legal Aid Society’s (NYC) DNA Defense College. He is both a presenter and frequent blog contributor for the National Association of Public Defense (publicdefenders.us). Andre previously served three terms as a Board Member with the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL), chairing their Indigent Defense Committee and CLE Committees. Due to his passion and commitment to client–centered representation, Andre has received the Kevin Andersen Award by the New York State Defender’s Association (NYSDA) and the Denison Ray Award by the New York State Bar Association. In addition to his legal accomplishments, Andre has finished twenty marathons.