Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

 See the
Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:

DNA and the Criminal Justice System: Conversation with Barry Scheck, Professor of Law, Yeshiva University; and Co-Director of The Innocence Project, July 25, 2003, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Barry C. Scheck, who is Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Education at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. He is known for his landmark litigation setting standards for forensic applications of DNA technology. Since 1988, he and his partner, Peter Neufeld, have worked to shape the course of case law across the country, leading to an influential study by the National Academy of Sciences on forensic DNA testing. book coverThey coauthored a book with Jim Dwyer called Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution and Other Dispatches from the Wrongly Convicted.

  1. Background ... influence of father ... impact of the sixties ... choosing the legal profession ... education
  2. Being a Lawyer ... public defender ... law professor ... virtues and skills ... economic incentives ... idealism and the law
  3. Bringing Science to the Courtroom ... learning and the practice of law ... Coakley case ... a forum of ideas ... on the ground floor ... the O.J. Simpson case ... lessons of the Simpson case ... using DNA in the right way
  4. Reforming the Criminal Justice System ... explaining resistance to change ... Innocence Project ... combining activism and ivory tower ... education and research ... inefficiencies of broken system ... goal is to provoke a thoughtful debate of the issues
  5. Taking Action ... how the public can help ... helping the exonerees

See the Innocence Project website

See also the interview with co-author Peter Neufeld: A Passion for Justice (April 2001)

© Copyright 2003, Regents of the University of California

Photos by Jane Scherr. Site questions: Email iis_webmgr at