ACFEI - The Largest Forensic Membership Association
Frontline’s film, The Real CSI, takes aim at forensic organizations alleging they certify unqualified individuals to act as expert witnesses in court cases. Regrettably, the show is terribly misguided in its criticisms of ACFEI. ACFEI does not, nor has it ever, bestowed degrees, university diplomas, or states license on any party. An individual expert witness in any case is determined by the judge based upon that person’s formal education, knowledge, and experience regarding a specific topic, and not by any certificate that ACFEI has or has not bestowed upon them. ACFEI takes pride in the educational opportunities it provides its members. Hopefully, these certifications will enhance our member’s ability to relate their existing expertise to a courtroom setting. Ordinarily ACFEI does not publish its pass/fail rates; however, in light of former CEO John Bridges statements, which imply that everyone who takes the certification exam passes, ACFEI reports that its average pass/fail rate is approximately 86%.
Cyril Wecht’s Response to Frontline
Dr. Wecht: We at the ACFEI have long felt that part of our educational mission, our agenda, is to educate our members on having proper medical and forensic scientific practices conducted in an ethical fashion. So we believe this is a subject that needs to be addressed. Indeed, we have conducted sessions at our national meetings dealing with the National Academy of Science Report that came out February 18, 2009. We have been addressing this for three years and we’re surprised that it has taken Mr. Bergman this long to refer to this report.
Marc A. Rabinoff’s Response to Frontline
I was one of the first members of the organization, so I've been with the organization for a long time. And during that period of time, I became involved in a lot of activities of the organization, including being on the board and being on committees, teaching courses, doing all kinds of things. During this time, the group asked me to be part of a group of colleagues to write the first Certified Forensic Consultant course, and that was really an outgrowth of the ethics course that Dr. Standing Bear and I talked about for many, many years at national conferences and so forth.