Ohio Attorney General visits BGSU to address forensic science course participants
Center for Future of Forensic Science at BGSU holds course to promote understanding of forensic evidence
Saying that we are living “in the golden age of forensic science” that will likely continue to improve in the future, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on Monday visited Bowling Green State University to speak to registrants of a Continuing Legal Education Conference taking place at the Ohio Attorney General's Center for the Future of Forensic Science at BGSU.
Through partnerships with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation at BGSU, the Center aims to advance forensic science through training and education on a topic that is frequently misunderstood, yet incredibly important to the outcomes of trials.
As a University that already teaches a forensic science curriculum, offering a Bachelor of Science and master’s degrees in forensic science, BGSU was uniquely positioned to play a part in addressing the issue. The Center, which launched in 2014, provides elite-level instruction to the next generation of forensic scientists in Ohio and beyond, and through its mutually beneficial partnerships with the attorney general's office, is home to cutting-edge research that promotes public understanding of forensic science.
This particular course, which provides forensic science training and 21 Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for legal practitioners, seeks to enhance understanding in the legal profession when it comes to forensic science.
“What we find is that many attorneys and lawyers do not get forensic training of any kind during their law career,” said Dr. Crystal Oechsle, an assistant teaching professor at the Center. “There are very few law programs that even offer a forensic evidence-type class. It’s very important to the legal system, but the attorneys are just expected to know or learn about the science on their own.”
The three-day conference covers, hands-on laboratory demonstrations, a simulated court exercise, panel discussion and presentations from experts on topics ranging from bloodstain pattern analysis to trace evidence to relevant caselaw on forensic science, among other things.
Twenty-four legal practitioners are taking the CLE course. All CLE courses are approved through the Ohio Supreme Court and must be open to the prosecution and defense alike, which Oechsle said fits forensic science’s ultimate goal of providing quality information regardless of the outcome.
“We as forensic scientists believe very strongly that it doesn’t matter who we’re talking to, we want to talk about the science – we want the information to be out there,” she said. “The prospective juror, the judge, even just members of the community, we want information to be out there so it’s not misrepresented and people can understand it.
“We feel like it’s our mission to educate on the science behind forensics.”
Updated: 05/19/2022 09:12AM