chapter  20
10 Pages

Topics Regarding Prosecution and the Defense

ByWilliam J. Bodziak

The experiences of both prosecution and defense attorneys are limited, including their understanding of forensic footwear evidence and forensic reports, what should be required before someone is qualified as a footwear expert, and how various conclusions may affect the facts of the case they are handling. The use of footwear evidence in the United States (US) as well as in courts around the world has been long established. Each jurisdiction and court in the US will have some variance in their admissibility criteria related to the evidence itself and how an expert is qualified. Like any area of forensic science, a footwear expert should have some training and experience before being permitted to examine evidence and provide his or her opinion. Unlike other forensic disciplines, commentary and nonexpert opinions about footwear evidence are sometimes tolerated more loosely and courts often permit comments regarding footwear evidence by investigators or medical examiners who are not trained nor qualified to make them.