The Forensic Examiner® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute. This site serves as your source of information for all aspects of the journal, including article archives, contact information, and advertising information.


The Forensic Examiner® is increasingly being accessed from the Internet. As such, The Forensic Examiner® has transitioned to an online, continuously published journal.  Because The Forensic Examiner® has gained popularity and recognition as the world's leading forensic magazine, submission rates, as well as demand for access, have greatly increased. The Examiner's transition from print to online availability was a response to the changing nature of journalism and scholarly publication, as well as a move to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by advances in technology and social media.  The transition to provide online, continous publication is an exciting time for the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute® which has drastically increased our readership, while enabling the ACFEI to rapidly review and publish articles.  We are now only offering The Forensic Examiner® online.  To learn more, please visit our submissions page.


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Current Articles

April, 2016

Domestic Terrorism, Cyber-Radicalization, and American College Students


Marie Wright, Ph.D., CHS-V


Since 9/11, there has been an increase in domestic terrorism inspired by the Global Salafi Jihad ideology. Some of the individuals who undergo radicalization are U.S. college and university students. Radicalization is promoted on the Internet in ways that appeal to the young and impact those who are searching for their identities, their places in life. Radicalization is complemented by the open environment of higher education, where college- and university-based organizations can become forums for the presentation of radical messages in a way that connects with students. This article describes the four-stage radicalization process, explains why students are particularly vulnerable, and offers...


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March, 2016

Prison Gangs: Descriptions and Selected Intervention Strategies


Terri Compton, RN, MSW & Mike Meacham, Ph.D., LCSW, DABFE


Prison gangs are increasing as rapidly as street gangs. This article is an overview of the literature that gives basic statistics on the incidences, describes the processes inmates generally follow to join prison gangs, and reviews selected interventions that have been attempted. We conclude that interventions should be flexible enough for use under the unique circumstances of each prison and that these interventions should be designed with specified and measurable goals so that the interventions’ progresses may be effectively measured...


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Do You Have An Operational Fraud Program?


William Anderson, CAS, CHS III


It’s Saturday night at 11 p.m., and your cellphone rings. It’s your information security manager, fraud manager, and public relations manager. The information security manager informs you of suspicious activity on several accounts. The fraud manager indicates the company’s security hotline has also received calls from consumers, law enforcement agencies, and industry fraud/security colleagues for assistance on activities around these same accounts...


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Archive

February, 2016

Identification and Reconstruction of Human Skeletal Remains in Uruguay


Dr. Horacio E. Solla, PhD


The article presents an update of a quantitative analysis of the forensic anthropology cases that occurred in Uruguay from 1950 to 2013. The number of forensic anthropology cases has rapidly increased in Uruguay. Over 50 years this number had rose from only one case in 1950 to 91 cases in 2013.This article studies 1391 forensic anthropology cases processed between 1950 and 2013 at the Judicial Morgue of Montevideo created in 1992, as a response to the need to address the backlog of cases.


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Vision Science Identification Overview: Ocular Detail and Ophthalmic Appliances as Potential Aid in Forensic Identification


Dr. E. Robert Bertolli OD, CHS-V, CMI-V, Dr. Gregory E. Berg, PhD, Dr. D. Robert Pannone OD, CMI-V


Ophthalmic appliances have been utilized in forensic identification. Additionally, ocular features may be of assistance to identification for live missing individuals and pre-decomposed deceased individuals. This paper discusses some ocular features and ophthalmic appliances potentially useful in identification. Venues of distribution regarding placement of potential identification features are also discussed.


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January, 2016

Warzones: The Effects on Children Caught In The Middle Of Conflict


Dr. Kathryn Seifert, PhD, CFC


Traumatic events in childhood can, if not handled effectively by adults, interfere with the development of basic coping skills (van der Kolk B. M., 2006), brain structures, and neurotransmitters (van der Kolk B. A., 2003). Additionally, aversive childhood experiences can lead to negative outcomes in adulthood, such as mental illness, substance abuse, and severe physical illnesses (Centers for Disease Control, 2006). Children living in a war zone have aversive and traumatic...


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A Medicolegal Examination into the Death of Bruce Lee: A Case Study


Dr. Craig M. Pradarelli, BA, BSc, MD


This article will examine the death of Bruce Lee through the eyes of an experienced investigator, currently a fourth-year medical student. A review of all publicly available information relative to the health and medical history of Mr. Lee was made. A history and physical of Mr. Lee is presented with modifications as if he were being treated by a physician at the time of his death. From the information available, conclusions can be made with respect for his death due to...


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Cowards and Deniers: The Black Lives Matter Movement M.O. Observations of the Chicago Police Protests


Ron Martinelli, PhD


If you have been watching the recent citizens’ protests of Chicago police by members of the black community and the Black Lives Matter movement, then you will see that the star is Lamon Reccord, a 16-year-old teen whose face and comments have been plastered all over TV, as well as social and print media. Record is basking in his fifteen minutes of fame for his bravery in angrily staring down a number of Chicago...


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Eric Greitens Visits Center for National Threat Assessment


It is not every day that an American hero drops by the office. On September 28th, 2015, Dr. Eric Greitens, a Missouri native who served as a United States Navy SEAL officer and founder of The Mission Continues, visited CNTA headquarters in Springfield, Missouri. The founder and owner of CNTA, Dr. Robert O’Block, along with 4 staff members who served in the armed forces (Ian Burba, Justin Simpson, Morgan Winn, and Josiah Roberts), the Executive Director (Thomas Schafbuch) and...


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November, 2015

Error in Accuracy in Eyewitness Memory for Firearms


Dr. Matthew J. Sharps, PhD, DABPS, FACFEI
Nicole Kimura, BA
Kaichen McRae, MA


This research addresses the cognitive bases for errors in firearm description and identification, a largely neglected area within the field of eyewitness memory. Consistent with the theoretical considerations driving this study, a substantial portion of participant responses were uninformative, based on general, "gestalt" concepts...


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CE course...


A Non-destructive Approach to Determine the Relative Age of Ink Using the Hyper-spectral Imaging


Locktongbam Nato Signh, MA
Dr. R.N. Khound, PhD
Priyankar Ghosh, MA


The challenges faced by the forensic document examiner are to know whether entries/writings with ink made on certain documents - such as logbooks, registers, OMR sheets, cheques, drafts, promising letter/notes, deeds, wills, prescription notes, and other important documents - are executed during the same period of time...


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October, 2015

Cohabitation with the Dead


Francisco Diaz, MD
Cheryl Loewe, MD
Angalena A. Hargreaves, BS


The following series represents several unusual cases from the Detroit area Medical Examiner's Office that involve individuals who were residing with either a deceased body or human remains. These cases include: natural death, with the bodies in various states of decomposition; homicides, where individuals committed murder and tried concealing the remains without disposing of them...


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CE course...


How Forensic Accounting Is Used to Combat Terrorism in the United States


Khamis Bilbeisi, PhD
Richard T. Brown, MBA


The purpose of this paper is to provide a concise overview of how forensic accounting is used to combat terrorism in the United States, especially since the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks. A brief explanation of the work of forensic accountants, along with a description of how...


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September, 2015

Does Evidence Support Conducting Medical/Evidentiary Exams After 72 Hours Following Sexual Assault?


Terri Augspurger, RN, MSN, CFN, CPEN, SANE-A/P, DABFE, DABFN



Evidence collection in sexual assault plays a crucial role in the prosecution of sexual offenders. Sexual assault is usually an un-witnessed crime, and the physical evidence of semen/spermatozoa has historically served as the criterion for confirming sexual intercourse. The courts pay much attention to the positive findings of this type of evidence.


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Teaching Forensic Handwriting Analysis Using The Simpsons


Ian James Turner, Cristina Helen Plant, Ashleigh Whiffin, and Chloe Newton


The Simpsons is a successful animated sitcom. The opening credits of the show feature a series of chalkboards displaying “lines” produced by a star of the show, Bart Simpson. In this paper, a lesson plan is described that uses the chalkboards to teach undergraduate forensic science students the basis of handwriting analysis.


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CE course...


August, 2015

The Use of Acoustical Forensic Evidence in High Profile Criminal Cases


Edward J. Primeau, CCI, CFC


This article uses four major United States historical events to explore and apply forensic science and its progress regarding acoustical forensic evidence. The learning objectives in the following article are to help the reader better understand the role of Acoustical Evidence for gunshot assessment as well as the overall concept of acoustical forensic evidence.The author has chosen four major historical events of the 20th...


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Skeletal Remains of Ubagesner Chaves Sosa and Fernando Miranda:
Victims of a Dictatorial Regime in Uruguay


Horacio E. Solla, PhD
Mehmet Yaşar Îşcan, PhD
Barbara McCabe, BA


Scientists make unique contributions to human rights cases through the application of scientific and forensic techniques to crime investigations. In human rights cases, evidence is often based solely on verbal testimonies from victims...


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CE course...


July, 2015

How Dangerous Is It That This Man Goes Loose!


By Kendra M. Devor
G.I. Wilson


Shakespeare’s King Claudius opines in Hamlet, “How dangerous is it that this man goes loose! Yet must not we put the strong law on him.”  Indeed, “this is a question to which the courts, lawyers, mental health professionals and the general public all want to know the answer” (Hucker, 2005, p. 1).  Violence involves a host of dynamic...


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Psychological Assessment Protocol for Asylum Applications in Federal Immigration Courts


By Reuben Vaisman-Tzachor, PhD, FACFEI, DABPS, FAPA


The unique challenge posed to immigration authorities by asylum applications creates a demand for psychological evaluations to provide accurate assessment of asylum seekers and their claims of persecution. The psychological evaluation in asylum cases requires forensic psychology experts to become familiar with the terms and procedures used to adjudicate asylum applications...


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CE course...


June, 2015

The Relationship of Identity to the Organizational Development of FLECHAS: Perceptions of Race from a Puerto Rican Perspective


By Raul Avila


In this article, Raul Avila explores the relationship of identity to the organizational development of Feast of Loiza in Connecticut in Honor of Saint James the Apostle (FLECHAS) and perceptions of race from a Puerto Rican perspective.


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Psychological Assessment Protocol for Asylum Applications in Federal Immigration Courts


By Reuben Vaisman-Tzachor, PhD, FACFEI, DABPS, FAPA


The unique challenge posed to immigration authorities by asylum applications creates a demand for psychological evaluations to provide accurate assessment of asylum seekers and their claims of persecution. The psychological evaluation in asylum cases requires forensic psychology experts to become familiar with the terms and procedures used to adjudicate asylum applications...


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CE course...


April, 2015

The "Hillside Strangler" Speaks for the First Time in 35 Years


The Interview with Kenneth Bianchi
By Criminal Profiler Anthony Meoli, MA, JD, DACFEI


Kenneth Alessio Bianchi, long known for his moniker, the”Hillside Strangler,” finally agreed to explain his version of events that left at least 12 women dead in California and Washington State. Bianchi has never agreed to a printed interview during his 35 years behind bars. This interview came about through hundreds of pages of written correspondence and nearly two dozen video visitations (which translates to approximately 24 hours of face-to-face time, via an inmate video conferencing website) between us.


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March, 2015

Domestic Minor Human Trafficking


By Kim Basinger RN, CA-CP SANE, SANE-A, SANE-P, CFN, DABFN, DABLEE


This paper will increase the knowledge and awareness of readers in assessing victims or patients for the possibility they may be victims of Domestic Minor Human Trafficking (DMHT). I will explore how healthcare professionals should assess all patients for abuse, make the appropriate assessment, and...


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CE course...


PTSD and Forensic Psychology: A Continuum of Care and Multi-Modality Approach (CCMM)


By Brock Kilbourne, PhD
Samantha Kilbourne, PsyD
Jerry Goodman, PhD


There has been a recent surge of interest in PTSD that can be attributed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ironically, this surge in interest has helped forensic psychologists to better appreciate the full range and depth of PTSD in contemporary American society...


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CE course...


NBCC CE...


February, 2015

Psychological Assessment Protocol For Asylum Applications in Federal Immigration Courts


By Reuben Vaisman-Tzachor, PhD, FACFEI, DABPS, FAPA


The unique challenge posed to immigration authorities by asylum applications creates a demand for psychological evaluations to provide accurate assessment of asylum seekers and their claims of persecution. The psychological evaluation in asylum cases requires forensic psychology...


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CE course...


Improving Reasoning in Medicolegal Evaluations


By Mark Schroeder MD


This paper presents a systematic approach to analysis in medicolegal evaluations in light of recent challenges within the type of reasoning that medical experts use. I identify a form of reasoning that is used within a specific argumentation structure as being the most appropriate to the goals of medicolegal evaluations. This approach to analysis addresses the legal system’s need for...


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CE course...


January, 2015

Perspective on Sensory Deprication Techniques


By G. I. Wilson


The impact of sensory deprivation on physical and mental well-being is of great interest to mental health and legal professionals, especially as it pertains to solitary confinement, supermax housing units, and isolation. Extreme sensory deprivation and solitary confinement may result in hallucinations and cognitive miscues eroding one’s ability to participate in judicial...


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Forensic Evaluations in Capitol Cases


By Gerald Cooke, PhD


This article focuses on how psychological-neuropsychological testing can be utilized in capital cases. Statutory and case law provide the legal parameters regarding the application of test findings to assessment of the mitigating factors a jury or judge must consider in determining whether to impose the death sentence. The article also discusses what background...


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CE course...


December, 2014

Caught On Video
Cameras, Computers, and Control: Convenience or Conspiracy?


By Edward J Primeau


This article provides an inside look at the ever-expanding role of today’s security cameras and surveillance videos, used as a means of monitoring public activity and protecting citizens. I include a basic overview of the types of surveillance applications and compare their functional capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. I also examine...


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CE course...


Psychopathy, Antisocial Personality, & Sociopathy: The Basics
A History Review


By Paula M. MacKenzie, PsyD, MSEd


The concept and use of the word psychopath has a rather long history all of its own, yet, in spite of its history, a good deal of conceptual confusion remains. Many authors have honed in on a very specific type of deviant behavior that at its core is distinctly different from mental illness or psychosis-related behavior.


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CE course...


November, 2014

An Anthropological Comparison of Two Children's Photographs


By Horacio E. Solla, PhD


The two most popular theories about the nationality of the famous tango singer, Carlos Gardel, are presented here. These are the Uruguayan and French theories. Both arguments are exposed according to documentation, witness testimonies, and Gardel's declarations to the media. A study and anthropological comparison of two children´s photographs...



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CE course...


Integrative Clinician Part 2:
Integrative Awareness in PTSD Treatment:
Avoiding Unseen Risks of a Provider-Initiated Drug Withdrawal


By Rev. Dr. Chrys L. Parker, J.D.


In "The Integrative Clinician" series, the author discusses the importance of exercising integrative awareness when treating patients with PTSD. Through integrative approaches, clinicians can develop a heightened awareness of...



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October, 2014

Forensic Psychological Reports: Medical Records or Confidential Employment Documents?


By George A. Harris and Martin Zehr

This article explores ethical, legal, and practical problems related to disclosure and release of documents and reports in fitness for duty, forensic, and pre-employment evaluations. Regulations developed for state licensing boards often do not take into account the complexities of evaluations not done in a strictly clinical context. It is often unclear who has the right to authorize...



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CE course...


An Expert’s Honor is Not an Oxymoron


By Paul D. Friedman, MA, PhD, JD

“Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.” William Shakespeare wrote about the internal need for honesty, integrity and honor over five hundred years ago and the same principles withstand the test of time.



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Chargemaster: How it is Ruining Healthcare for Americans


By John Haberströh

This paper will explore the ramifications of the nation’s systemic, overzealous overbilling for every conceivable medical service available as well as the laughable mythology of “non-profit” hospitals. There will be a brief discussion on the history Universal Health Care in the United States. We will also discuss what is so wrong with this system, why so many Americans are dying no matter how much money is thrown at the problem...


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CE course...


Integrative Clinician PT 1


By Rev. Dr. Chrys L. Parker, JD

This article contains a brief discussion of (l) the author's concept of practice as an integrative professional, (2) an overview of what integrative care does and does not involve, (3) why integrative approaches may play an important role in the creation of vital linkages between caregiving professions, and (4) how the regular series The Integrative Clinician will operate to enhance integrative knowledge among professionals. The article also introduces the topic of integrative care by outlining three scenarios...


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September, 2014


Small Cues – Major Effect: How an Auditor Training Exercise Revealed a Multi-Generational Fraud


By Dr. Eddward T. Herron, CPA
Dr. Katherene P. Terrell, CPA
Dr. Robert L. Terrell, CPA, CIA

Research has shown that forensic accountants and auditors must possess certain skills and abilities that discourage reliance on routine behavior in audits.


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The Psychological Forensic Expert Witness: Ethical Considerations


By Michael S. Cardwell MD, JD, MPH, MBA

Psychologists are often called upon to provide testimony and evidence in judicial matters. In these roles the professional psychologist is either a psychological expert witness or providing their services as a forensic psychologist (American Psychological Association [APA], 2003).


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Transnational Terrorism: The Role of Financial Intelligence Examined


By Dale Duchesne

Transnational terrorism remains at the forefront of concern on the part of most security agencies throughout the Western World and indeed in many other parts of the world as well, particularly the Middle East, North Africa, Pacific Rim, South and Central Asia.


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Professionals Need Protection in Child Custody Evaluations and Social Studies for the Court


By Donna R. Milburn, PhD

As a clinical psychologist who has been providing evaluations for the family court system in Texas for over twenty years, this evaluator has witnessed what appears to be a deterioration of services being provided to the courts and to the attorneys and their clients over the years.


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August, 2014

Psychopharmacologic Treatment for Substance Abuse & Dependency: What the Literature Has to Say (A Meta-Analysis)


By Scott A., Johnson, MA, LP

This article will primarily focus on psychopharmacologic interventions for alcohol abuse and dependence. The implications for other types of substance abuse and dependence will be addressed in a more summative fashion and will address Nicotine, Marijuana, and Cocaine abuse/dependence...


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CE course...


Air Bag Deployment Criteria


By Jesse Kendall, PE
Kenneth Alvin Solomon, PhD, PE

An introduction to air bag systems and inflation processes will be followed by a brief history of crash sensors. Variables used in air bag deployment algorithms will be described, and examples of several patented systems compared. Estimated ranges of speed, deceleration, and displacement thresholds for air bag deployment will also be provided.


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Reducing Hospital-Acquired Infections


By Arthur D Hallstrom

To some extent, controlling infection transfer is similar to the field of noise control. In both, it is hard to control the source and very hard to control the receiver. Some receivers are more sensitive than others. So the focus in both disciplines is on path control. For noise, you path attenuate the noise to the desired level. For infections, you clean the air so that the airborne path does not contribute to creating infections.


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July, 2014

Small Cues – Major Effect: How an Auditor Training Exercise Revealed a Multi-Generational Fraud


By Dr. Eddward T. Herron, CPA
Dr. Katherene P. Terrell, CPA
Dr. Robert L. Terrell, CPA, CIA

In this issue we bring you part two of this piece concerning a series of bank frauds at the Farmers and Merchants Bank. The frauds took place over the span of 60 years. It is hypothesized that the fraud was able to be carried out for so long because auditors were predictable in their methodology. The authors explore the idea that small changes in procedure may be just the ticket to catch fraudsters.


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The Operational Police Behavioral Health Specialist© as a Member of the Hostage and Crisis Negotiations Team


By James L. Greenstone, EdD, JD, DABECI

In this article, Dr. Greenstone suggests a role that may be needed on Police Ops. Teams. It is the role of a behavioral health specialist. It would allow for a behavioral health specialist to be present when needed without affecting the cohesion necessary for high stakes situations. 


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SMOKE: Effective Cognitive and Field Training for IED Detection


By Matthew J. Sharps, PhD
Millie G. Herrera, BA
Amanda L. Lodeesen, BA

In this article the authors describe a new manner of training individuals to detect IEDs. The authors highlight the need to use cognitively based training in both public and private sectors, due to its effectiveness.


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CE course...


The Need for Medical and Forensic Scientific Expert Testimony


By Cyril H. Wecht, MD, JD

Cyril Wecht wrote these comments about the need for quality expert testimony in the areas of medical and forensic science. Dr. Wecht discusses the concerns some physicians and scientists have in regards to the adversarial legal system we have.


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