Part autobiography, part thought piece, part references, the book takes an insightful look at the experience and cases of renowned paediatrician and forensic expert witness Dr. Charles Ferguson. The book presents the interaction of science and law as it applies, specifically, the Canadian courts, but the justice process as a whole. Dr. Ferguson’s experience—from a scientist and medical professional’s perspective—in dealing with lawyers, judges, and the process of testifying in numerous court—offers a unique glimpse into how the two worlds of science and law don’t always mesh. In some cases the evidence is compelling and definitive. In others, far from it. Ultimately, the book presents the important role of the forensic expert and expert witness as a vital and deciding factor as the courtroom proceedings play out.
The cases presented in the book—cases Dr. Ferguson was personally involved with—are interesting, the conclusions and results arrived at by Dr. Ferguson are well thought out and backed by his scientific expertise. The results and conclusions arrived at by the courts is often expected, sometimes surprising—in specific cases even controversial. Throughout all, Dr. Ferguson casts an independent, and sometimes critical, eye on the process presenting a compelling argument and heartfelt recommendation for science, objectivity, and justice to be served based on truth—truth insofar as the "facts" of the cases presented through evidence and the testimony provided within the judicial process. A fascinating read for university students, experts and witnesses, lawyers and judges, and anyone involved in the forensic process in the trying of criminal and civil cases.
Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: The Divide between Science and Law
Chapter Three: The Gatekeeper Function
Chapter Four: The Trial
Chapter Five: Earlier Opportunities
Chapter Six: Concluding Thoughts