An insider’s journey into the heart of a broken, racist system of justice, and the role junk science plays in maintaining this status quo, will be discussed by Innocence Project attorney M. Chris Fabricant at the next Conversations on Race and Policing.
“Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System,” which takes its title from Fabricant’s book, will take place at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, on Zoom. The talk is free and open to the public, and can be accessed from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android at https://csusb.zoom.us/j/97960458784
book publisher’s website“Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System,” “From ‘CSI’ to ‘Forensic Files’ to the celebrated reputation of the FBI crime lab, forensic scientists have long been mythologized in American popular culture as infallible crime solvers. Juries put their faith in ‘expert witnesses’ and innocent people have been executed as a result. Innocent people are still on death row today, condemned by junk science.
“In 2012, the Innocence Project began searching for prisoners convicted by junk science, and three men, each convicted of capital murder, became M. Chris Fabricant’s clients. ‘Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System’ chronicles the fights to overturn their wrongful convictions and to end the use of the ‘science’ that destroyed their lives. Weaving together courtroom battles from Mississippi to Texas to New York City and beyond, Fabricant takes the reader on a journey into the heart of a broken, racist system of justice and the role forensic science plays in maintaining the status quo.”
Conversations on Race and Policing, also known as CoRP, began in the aftermath of the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd while in the custody of four Minneapolis, Minn., police officers. A video of the incident posted on social media led to widespread protests, the firing of four police officers, the arrest and conviction of one officer on a second-degree murder and related charges, the other three on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder – and a spotlight worldwide on race and policing.
The series has featured scholars, journalists, law enforcement officers, lawyers, activists, artists, educators, administrators and others from throughout the nation who shared their experience and expertise on issues related to race and policing.
More than 50 forums have taken place, and video recordings of the sessions are posted online on the Conversations on Race and Policing Lecture Series Archive.
The fall lineup of Conversations on Race and Policing, each at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, include:
- Nov. 16: “Struggling Against Police Terror: The Community Alert Patrol and its Initiation of Strategies to Police the Police,” with Ron Wilkins, activist, scholar and photojournalist.
- Nov. 30: “Policing’s Small Toolbox: Race and the Rise of Surveillance Policing,” with Matthew Guariglia, affiliated scholar at the Hastings Center for Criminal Justice, UC Hastings Law.
The series is organized by CSUSB students, staff and faculty, including recent history master of arts graduate, Cecelia Smith; history master of arts student Matt Patino; Mary Texeira, professor emerita, sociology; Jeremy Murray, professor of history; Robie Madrigal, public affairs/communication specialist for the CSUSB John M. Pfau Library; and community member Stan Futch, president of the Westside Action Group.