WMU News

Sundick to discuss ethical issues in forensic science

March 24, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- The role and responsibilities of expert witnesses in the criminal justice system will be explored in a lecture Tuesday, March 31, at Western Michigan University.

Dr. Robert I. Sundick, chairperson of the WMU Department of Anthropology, will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Room 211 of the Bernhard Center. His topic will be "Ethical Issues in Forensic Science: The Role of the Expert Witness."

Sundick has been involved in forensic research and applications for more than 20 years. He has served on ethics committees of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the anthropology section of that organization. He has testified as an expert witness in a number of murder cases and has assisted in the identification of the dead in two major plane crashes. He regularly works with state, county and local police departments on the recovery and identification of human skeletal remains.

Using examples from forensic science, Sundick will illustrate how other factors sometimes influence the "expert" to act in something other than an ethical manner. He also will discuss what forensic anthropologists do and what their role is in the criminal justice system and in the study of human rights violations.

The free address is being sponsored by WMU's Center for the Study of Ethics in Society.

Media contact: Ruth Stevens; ruth.stevens@wmich.edu

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