Bruce A. MacFarlane, QC, Barrister and Attorney-at-Law, of the Manitoba and Alberta Bars explores the intersection between the forensic sciences and medicine when the pertain to cases of wrongful conviction.
In this paper, Mr. MacFarlane begins by describing what forensic science is. This introduction lays the foundation for understanding the experiences of three of the forensic sciences – hair microscopy, fingerprint comparisons, and forensic pathology – in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and how they have shaped the justice system's use of the forensic sciences at trial. By examining specific cases, Mr. MacFarlane illustrates forensic science’s reliability, and its limitations. The paper ends with an exploration of alternative pathways to post-conviction relief that have been used in the United States and Canada.