VPM: ‘Justice Denied: Unreliable Evidence and Accountability‘
This article features Government Accountability Project Senior Counsel and Director of Education, Dana Gold, and was originally published here.
The Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU and VPM are partnering to present Justice Denied: Unreliable Evidence and Accountability — a panel discussion exploring themes from Admissible: Shreds of Evidence, a podcast that shines a light on how evidence itself can be flawed, mishandled or even manipulated. The event will take place at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU (601 W Broad St., Richmond) on Wednesday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m.
The discussion will center around how evidence testing went awry at the Virginia state crime lab in the 1970s and ’80s. What role does forensic science play in court cases today? How can those responsible for mistakes be held accountable? And what can our communities do to reestablish trust in the criminal legal system?
Listen to Admissible: Shreds of Evidence to hear the story of 13 men who were exonerated in Virginia after the discovery of preserved evidence — hidden for decades in a Virginia records facility — and the forensic scientist responsible for those samples: Mary Jane Burton.
Dr. Chioke I’Anson, director of the VPM + ICA Community Media Center, will moderate the discussion between:
- Tessa Kramer, Admissible host and reporter who uncovered the story of Mary Jane Burton and her work at the state crime lab.
- Dana Gold, senior counsel and director of education at the Government Accountability Project, and director of its Democracy Protection Initiative, which fosters understanding about the essential role of whistleblowers.
- Chelsea Higgs Wise, social justice activist and facilitator working toward equitable communication strategies. Higgs Wise is co-founder and executive director of Marijuana Justice and is the co-host of radio show Race Capitol.
- Maneka Sinha, associate professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. Sinha has extensive experience in criminal litigation and expertise in the use of forensic science evidence in criminal cases.
A Q&A will follow.
This is an in-person only event, free and open to the public. Register online to attend.