exclusive focus on Strengthening Forensic Science
Jerome F. Buting is a partner in the Brookfield, Wisconsin law firm of Buting, Williams & Stilling, S.C. He received his undergraduate degree in Forensic Studies from Indiana University and his law degree from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He is a past board director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the recipient of the 2017 NACDL Champion of Justice Legal Award, and a past president of the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is a past chair of the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin. He has always had a particular interest in forensic science and he has long been concerned that much of the forensic evidence allowed in courts lacks scientific validation.
Mr. Buting was a trial public defender for 9 years in Milwaukee. His present private practice is entirely criminal defense, both trials and appeals. He has defended the citizen accused in many serious high profile cases, including the Steven Avery case featured in the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer, and he obtained the reversal of convictions in State of Wisconsin v. Ted Oswald and State of Wisconsin v. Ralph Armstrong (reversing a 29 year old murder conviction). He lectures worldwide and is frequently sought after for his knowledge in the use of expert witnesses, DNA and other forensic evidence. His first book is ILLUSION OF JUSTICE: INSIDE MAKING A MURDERER AND AMERICA’S BROKEN SYSTEM (Harper 2017).
Dean Strang practices in Madison, Wisconsin, as a shareholder in StrangBradley, LLC. He was Wisconsin’s first Federal Defender and has argued in the United States Supreme Court, five federal circuits, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Mr. Strang has been an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and Marquette University Law School. He also is a lecturer in legal history for the University of Wisconsin, Division of Continuing Studies. He got his A.B. from Dartmouth College and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Mr. Strang’s second book, KEEP THE WRETCHES IN ORDER: AMERICA’S BIGGEST MASS TRIAL, THE RISE OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, AND THE FALL OF THE IWW, will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press in early 2019. His first book was WORSE THAN THE DEVIL: ANARCHISTS, CLARENCE DARROW, AND JUSTICE IN A TIME OF TERROR (U. Wisconsin Press 2013; rev. ed. 2016). He also is the author of several law review articles.
Keith A. Findley, a 1985 graduate of the Yale Law School, is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. He teaches evidence, wrongful convictions, and criminal procedure. His primary areas of research focus on wrongful convictions, including the role that forensic sciences play in both causing and correcting wrongful convictions, and the ways that cognitive biases can impede the criminal justice system’s reliability. In 1998, he co-founded the Wisconsin Innocence Project, and he served as co-director of the project until 2017, when he became Senior Advisor to the Project. He was a founding member of the Innocence Network—the international affiliation of nearly 70 innocence advocacy organizations—and has served on its Executive Board since its inception in 2005. He served as President of the Innocence Network from 2009-2014. He currently co-chairs the City of Madison, Wisconsin, Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Police Department’s Policies, Procedures, Training, and Culture, and serves as a Commissioner on the Madison Police and Fire Commission. He is also currently a member of the Medicolegal Death Investigation Consensus Body of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Standards Board. He has previously worked as an Assistant State Public Defender in Wisconsin, both in the Appellate and Trial Divisions. He has litigated hundreds of post-conviction and appellate cases, at all levels of state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D., is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and Chair of the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He obtained his B.A. in Chemistry at Queens College of the City University of New York. Previously, he served as Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Einstein, from 2000‐2006 and as Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology from 2006‐2014. Dr. Casadevall received both his M.D. and Ph.D. (biochemistry) degrees from New York University. Subsequently, he completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York. He then completed subspecialty training in infectious diseases at Montefiore and Einstein. The author of over 700 scientific papers, numerous books and book chapters, Dr. Casadevall’s major research interests are in fungal pathogenesis and the mechanisms of antibody action. In the area of biodefense, he has an active research program to understand the mechanisms of antibody‐mediated neutralization of Bacillu anthracis toxins. In recent years, Dr. Casadevall has become interested in problems with the scientific enterprise and with his collaborators shown that misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted publications. He has suggested a variety of reforms to the way science is done. Dr. Casadevall is the editor‐in‐chief of mBio, the first open access general journal of the American Society of Microbiology, and is on the editorial board of several journals including the Journal of Infectious Diseases and the Cell Surface. He has also served on numerous NIH committees including those that drafted the NIAID Strategic Plan and the Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense Research. He served on the National Academy of Sciences panel that reviewed the science on the FBI investigation of the anthrax terror attacks of 2001 and has served on the NAS Committee of Federal Regulations and Reporting requirements. He has also served as a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity from 2005‐2014. In 2008, he was recognized by the American Society of Microbiology with the William Hinton Award for mentoring scientists from underrepresented groups. In 2015, Dr. Casadevall was appointed a Commissioner to the National Commission on Forensic Science, the United States Department of Justice. He has served as President of the Medical Mycology Society of America, Chair of American Society for Microbiology Division F, Chair of the American Society for Microbiology Career Development Committee, Co‐Chair of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Board of Scientific Counselors, and currently serves on the Scientific Council/Advisory Board for the Pasteur Institut and VIB Research Institute in Belgium. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, American College of Physicians, Association of American Physicians, was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology. In 2014, he became an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and in 2017 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Kassi Crocker is a Genetics Ph.D. candidate and an HHMI Scientific Teaching Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studies neural regeneration. As a member of Catalysts for Science Policy (CaSP), she focuses on engaging her community and policymakers in conversations about science. After graduation, Kassi hopes to continue and combine her passions for advocacy, education, and science in her career.
Dr. Jo Handelsman is the Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Vilas Research Professor, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. She previously served as a science advisor to President Barack Obama as the Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) where she served for three years until January 2017, and was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin and Yale University before that. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Molecular Biology and has since authored over 100 papers, 30 editorials and 5 books. She is responsible for groundbreaking studies in microbial communication and work in the field of metagenomics. She is also widely recognized for her contributions to science education and diversity in science. Notably, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from President Obama in 2011, and in 2012, Nature named her one of “ten people who mattered this year” for her research on gender bias in science.
Sam Rikkers leads and manages Tiny Earth direction, goals, fundraising activities, and team. Before joining Tiny Earth, he launched and led Georgetown University McDonough School of Business’ Rural Opportunity Initiative. Prior to this position, President Obama appointed Sam to serve as Administrator of USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Before joining the USDA, Sam served as Director of the Energy and Environment Team with the White House’s Presidential Personnel Office. Prior to this position, Sam served as Regional Field Director in Wisconsin on President Obama’s re-election campaign. From 2007 to 2012, he was an attorney with a commercial litigation firm in New York City specializing in antitrust and First Amendment law. Before practicing law, Sam spent years working as a community and political organizer nationally and internationally. He earned a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He also served as a volunteer with the US Peace Corps in rural Zambia. Sam is from a small town in Southern Wisconsin.
Richard Ryffel is J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s Market Manager for Missouri. He first joined the firm in 2012 as a St. Louis-based Banker and Midwest Region endowments and foundations specialist.
In 2015, he accepted a full-time faculty appointment in the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis where, in addition to teaching, he was responsible for creating and launching its Wealth and Asset Management master’s degree and related programs.
His financial services career spans almost 30 years as an investment banker, private banker and regional manager at A.G. Edwards, Bank of America and Edward Jones. He is a founder and co-chairperson of the Brookings Institution’s Municipal Finance Research Conference, now in its eighth year, held jointly with Brookings, Washington University in St. Louis, Brandeis University and The University of Chicago.
Active in the St. Louis community, he is a board member and immediate past president of the Normandy Schools Collaborative and a member of the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis. He also serves as a mentor and instructor to the St. Louis-based 630 FinTech Accelerator entrepreneurship program. He is a 2017 graduate of Leadership St. Louis and has been active with Beyond Housing, the United Way of Greater St. Louis and the St. Louis Art Museum.
For the past twenty years, Tania Simoncelli has designed advocacy strategies and policy solutions to address complex issues at the intersection of science, technology, law and ethics. Last fall, she joined the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as Director of Science Policy, where her work focuses on enhancing public trust in and support for science and building a first-of-its kind initiative to promote patient-driven disease research at scale. Prior to this, Simoncelli worked for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as Senior Advisor to Eric Lander and Executive Director of Count Me In, an initiative that aims to accelerate biomedical research by facilitating patient-researcher partnerships. From 2010-2015, Simoncelli served in senior staff roles in the Obama Administration, including as Assistant Director for Forensic Science and Biomedical Innovation within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she crafted a series of interagency forensic science reform efforts and helped to drive the creation and launch of the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative. From 2003-2010, Simoncelli worked for the ACLU as the organization’s first-ever Science Advisor, where she spearheaded the organization’s successful Supreme Court case challenging the patenting of human genes. In 2013, Simoncelli was named by the journal Nature as one of “ten people who mattered this year” for her work in ending gene patenting. She holds a BA in Biology & Society from Cornell University and an MS in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley, and is co-author with Sheldon Krimsky of Genetic Justice: DNA Data Banks, Criminal Investigations, and Civil Liberties.
Jennifer Friedman is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has been a Deputy Public Defender in Los Angeles County since 1987. She is currently the Assistant Special Circumstances Coordinator and Forensic Science Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s office. In that capacity she assists in the supervision of the office’s capital cases and represents clients charged with capital murder. She has focused her practice on litigating forensic science and expert issues. She has tried over 150 felony jury trials many of which were sexual assaults and homicides involving complex scientific issues. She writes the expert section of the California Death Penalty Manual. She was a member of the President’s Inter-Agency Working on Standards, Practices and Protocols. She is a member of the Legal Resources Committee of the Organization of Scientific Areas Committee. She is a frequent lecturer on the death penalty, challenging forensic evidence and the use of experts in the courts.
Simon A. Cole is Professor of Criminology, Law and Society and Director of the Newkirk Center for Science & Society at the University of California, Irvine. He received his Ph.D. in Science & Technology Studies from Cornell University. Dr. Cole is the author of Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification (Harvard University Press, 2001), which was awarded the 2003 Rachel Carson Prize by the Society for Social Studies of Science, Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting (University of Chicago Press, 2008, with Michael Lynch, Ruth McNally & Kathleen Jordan), and numerous scholarly articles and book chapters about the scientific validity of fingerprint evidence and its use in the courts. He is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Science Standards Board Friction Ridge Consensus Body and a Co-Investigator in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Excellence, the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE). He is Co-Editor of the journal Theoretical Criminology, and he is Associate Editor of the National Registry of Exonerations.
Dr. Scott Fairgrieve is a tenured full professor and was the Founding Chair of the Department of Forensic Science at Laurentian University, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He was originally trained in Physical Anthropology at Erindale College (now University of Toronto at Mississauga – UTM), University of Toronto (Hons. B.Sc.) from 1982 to 1986, under the supervision of Dr. Jerry Melbye of the Department of Anthropology. Upon graduation, Dr. Fairgrieve pursued his M.Phil. in Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, England. His thesis, was supervised by Professor James Garlick of the Department of Physical Anthropology. Subsequently, Dr. Fairgrieve pursued his Ph.D. in human skeletal biology, under the supervision of Dr. Jerry Melbye, at the University of Toronto. He was trained in Forensic Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C., by Dr. Douglas H. Ubelaker and instructed by Dr. William Bass from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee. In 1991 Dr. Fairgrieve secured a cross-appointment between the Anthropology Program and the Department of Biology at Laurentian University. Since obtaining his Ph.D. in 1993, Dr. Fairgrieve has steadily conducted research in human skeletal biology and forensic anthropology with numerous publications and research projects. In 1998, he founded the “Forensic Biology Option” within the Honours B.Sc. in Biology at Laurentian University. In 2004, Dr. Fairgrieve became the founding Chair of the Department of Forensic Science at Laurentian University. He was the lead in the department’s successful bid to be the first in Canada to offer FEPAC (Forensic Science Programs Accreditation Commission) accredited degrees. Director of the Forensic Osteology Laboratory, he is the Forensic Anthropology consultant to the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario and the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service, working with the Northeast Regional Forensic Pathology Unit in Sudbury, Ontario. Dr. Fairgrieve is published in the areas of forensic anthropology, microscopy of bone, and the analysis of intentionally burned human remains. In 2008 published through CRC Press a book on Forensic Cremation Recovery and Analysis. He has testified as an expert witness in Canada for the Crown and the United States for the defense in the Casey Anthony case and the Steven Avery case, among others. Crown and defense regularly seek out Dr. Fairgrieve to consult on death investigations and criminal trials.
Peter Neufeld co-founded and co-directs the Innocence Project, a national non- profit organization which uses DNA evidence to exonerate the wrongly convicted. The Project also assists legislatures and executive branches as well as police, prosecutors, and defense attorneys to bring about reform in criminal justice. In its twenty-six years of existence, 358 individuals have been exonerated in the United States through post-conviction DNA testing. The Project has been instrumental in the passage of federal legislation and more than a hundred state statutes to improve the quality of justice. You can read about each of these cases at www.innocenceproject.org.
Peter Neufeld is a founding partner in the New York civil rights law firm of Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, LLP. Mr. Neufeld’s focus is constitutional law and civil rights. He has lectured and taught students, lawyers, judges, legislators and scientists on subjects at the intersection of science and criminal justice. Before co-founding the Innocence Project, Mr. Neufeld taught trial advocacy at Fordham University Law School.
From 2014 – 2017, Mr. Neufeld served as a Commission member of the National Commission on Forensic Science, established by US Department of Justice and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. From 1995 to his resignation in 2016, Mr. Neufeld served on the New York State Commission on Forensic Science which regulates the two dozen crime laboratories in the state. He is a member Emeritus of the boards of the Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein School of Medicine.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Peter Neufeld received his law degree from New York University School of Law.
Joyce White Vance was the United States Attorney in the Northern District of Alabama during the Obama Administration. Currently, she is a Distinguished Professor from Practice at the University of Alabama School of Law and a contributor for MSNBC and NBC News.
As U.S. Attorney, Vance served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee. She was the Co-Chair of its Criminal Practice Subcommittee and a member of the Civil Rights Subcommittee. She was responsible for all federal criminal investigations and prosecutions in north Alabama, including matters involving civil rights, national security, cybercrime, public corruption, health care and corporate fraud, violent crime, and drug trafficking. She was also responsible for civil litigation, both affirmative and defensive, on behalf of the United States and for appeals.
Before becoming U.S. Attorney, Vance served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Birmingham for 18 years. She spent ten years as a criminal prosecutor before moving to the Appellate Division in 2002. She became the Chief of that Division in 2005. Prior to her work as a federal prosecutor, she spent six years as a litigator in private practice, first at Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn in Washington D.C., and then at Bradley, Arant, Rose & White, now Bradley, Arant, Boult & Cummings, in Birmingham. Professor Vance received a B.A. from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, magna cum laude, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of law.
During Vance’s tenure as U.S. Attorney, she led, along with Tom Perez, the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division and Tony West, the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, the successful challenge of Alabama’s HB56 immigration law. She established a civil rights unit in the U.S. Attorneys’ office, which successfully tackled a wide variety of issues including voting rights and criminal justice reform. Among the unit’s achievements were a settlement with Jefferson County, Alabama that protected the rights of Americans with disabilities at polling places and work with the Civil Rights Division under to commence a statewide CRIPA investigation into conditions in Alabama’s prisons.
In 2017 Vance received the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health’s Lou Wooster Public Health Hero Award for her leadership in creating a community-engaged initiative that includes partners from law enforcement, the medical and business communities, and educators in order to address the heroin and opioid epidemic in northern Alabama.
Vance has been married to her husband, Alabama Judge Robert S. Vance, Jr. since 1988. They have four children, three dogs, and five cats, and reside in Birmingham.
James P. Carmody is an attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. He has more than 30 years of litigation experience in state and federal courts. He is AV peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized for his excellence in the legal field by Super Lawyers® and The Best Lawyers in America®. He has authored and co-authored numerous appellate briefs, is a Fellow of The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and has been given the “Best Award” by Missouri Lawyers Weekly.
Jim earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and his J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Illinois.
Robin Steinberg is the CEO of The Bail Project, a national organization modeled after The Bronx Freedom Fund, which she co-founded with David Feige in 2007. Steinberg is the founder and former executive director of The Bronx Defenders, a community-based public defense office serving low-income New Yorkers in the Bronx since 1997, and the director of Still She Rises, Tulsa, the first public defender office in the nation dedicated exclusively to the representation of mothers in the criminal justice system.
She is currently a Gilbert Foundation Senior Fellow of the Criminal Justice Program at UCLA School of Law where she works with faculty and students on bail reform initiatives and research.