From Lab to Verdict: Navigating the Intersection of Forensic Science, Media, and Legal Decision-Making

Monday September 23rd, 2024 // 8:30 am - 5:00 pm // JW Marriott Hill Country, Room Grand PR

Standard Registration$345.00
Student Registration$195.00

Fee includes breakfast, lunch, breaks and handouts


A panel of experts in the criminal justice arena will examine jury perception of expert testimony regarding DNA, how it’s presented, and what effect it may have on deliberation and the final verdict. The panel will include former and current scientists, lawyers, and judges. Further, to assess understanding of commonly used DNA terminology and how the media and genetic testing may influence potential jurors, an anonymous survey will be sent out prior to the workshop to those not traditionally involved in the court process or those not familiar with DNA.


Learning Outcomes:

  1. To become familiar with juries’ perceptions and expectations of DNA testing in the courtroom through survey responses and jury polling.
  2. To explore the impact of language and scientific jargon used by the expert witness during testimony.
  3. To understand the unique perspective of each participant in a jury trial.


Intended Audience:

Former/current scientists, lawyers and judges involved in courtroom proceedings involving forensic DNA testing. Suitable for those just beginning.


Craig O’ConnorChair

Deputy Director, Forensic Biology Department, New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner

Craig O’Connor is a Deputy Director in the Department of Forensic Biology at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner, the largest public DNA Lab in the country with over 200 analysts and technicians. He manages the daily operations in the department ensuring that the analytical work conforms to state and national accreditation requirements and federal quality assurance standards.

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Susan Horan

DNA Specialist, Forensic Science & Cold Case Unit, Kings County District Attorney's Office

Ms. Horan has testified approximately 100 times in New York State and federal courts. She is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the International Society for Forensic Genetics. She was a scientific advisor to the Department of Justice sponsored program: Sexual Assault: Medical and Forensic Management: A Virtual Practicum. Furthermore, Ms. Horan is a and a co-author of “The Forensic Corner” for the New York Prosecutor’s Training Institute (NYPTI) Empire State Prosecutor’s Encyclopedia.

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