In Memoriam: Carol E. Henderson, JD

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Source: Carla Noziglia, MS, AAFS Retired Fellow

We are together in our grief, but also in the memories of a wonderful woman.

Professor Carol E. Henderson, visionary, innovator, and force of nature, has died at her home in Florida. Her accomplishments were many and varied, and she will be remembered fondly as a gracious friend. Carol gave unstintingly to her students, her friends, and her career, and supported many with advice, funding, and caring.

Carol, AAFS Past President and Jurisprudence Section Fellow, was named “Distinguished Fellow” by the AAFS Board of Directors and was honored with the Award during the 2019 Annual Business Meeting on Wednesday, February 20, in Baltimore, MD.

Carol was elected into membership in the Jurisprudence Section in 1984 and was promoted to Fellow in 1990. As a Provisional Member (now Associate Member), she immediately became involved in committee activities within the section and Academy-wide. She served on the AAFS Membership Committee, the Nominating Committee, the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, the Good Forensic Practice Guidelines Committee, the Accreditation & Certification Task Force, the Journal of Forensic Sciences Editorial Board, the Long Term Planning Committee, the Mission and Vision Task Force, and the FSF Think Tank. Carol served in a variety of meeting program positions for an unprecedented six annual meetings leading up to her election as Vice President, Secretary, and ultimately President-Elect. She served as AAFS President in 2008-09. During her term, Carol took the Forensic Sciences Foundation, Inc. (FSF) Silent Auction to a new level by personally soliciting more than 75 donations from the AAFS membership. Proceeds from the FSF Silent Auction funds scholarships and grants through the FSF Endowment Fund.

In recognition for her service to the Jurisprudence Section, Carol was honored with the Harold A. Feder Award in 1999.

After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida, Carol received her Juris Doctor from The George Washington University in 1980. Carol began her criminal justice career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), working in a federal prison for male offenders in Miami, FL, and later as a researcher at the BOP headquarters in Washington, DC. She began her legal career as an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington, DC. After working as a senior litigation associate in a large corporate firm in Miami, she joined the faculty of Nova Southeastern University and most recently served as a tenured professor at Stetson University College of Law.

Carol served as a liaison between the AAFS and the American Bar Association’s Science & Technology Law Section; as the Co-Chair of the Life & Physical Sciences Division, ABA Science & Technology Law Section; was a member of the ABA Judicial Division’s Forensic Science Committee; and was the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Sci Tech Lawyer.

Carol was a consultant in scientific evidence and law. She was the founding director of the award-winning National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law (NCSTL), an interdisciplinary resource that provides education and information to scientists, legal professionals, law enforcement, academics, and the public worldwide. Since its inception, NCSTL has trained more than 14,500 legal and scientific professionals and has the only comprehensive, searchable database of science, technology, and law in the world. Carol presented more than 300 lectures, webinars, and workshops on scientific evidence and courtroom testimony on six continents. She authored or edited more than 100 books, articles, and encyclopedias, including the Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine (2005), which received the Minty Prize and awards from the British Medical Association. She co-edited The Future of Evidence: How Science and Technology Will Change The Practice of Law, published by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 2011 and Scientific Review: Admissibility and Use of Expert Evidence in the Courtroom, Monograph #9 in 2013, Sleuthing Scientific Evidence Information on the Internet, 106 J. Crim. L. and Criminology 59 (2016), and Future Focus for Forensic Science, a special issue of The SciTech Lawyer (2017).

Carol appeared in the national media as a legal analyst and testified before the United States Congress. She served on the American Bar Association (ABA) Science & Technology Law Section Council, the ABA Judicial Division Forensic Science Committee, and as faculty for the National Judicial College. She also served as an editorial board member for WIREs Forensic Science journal and The SciTech Lawyer magazine.

Carol exemplified the essential alliance between the law and science and was an innovator in developing resources for the law and scientific communities.

Carol accomplished a great feat: she made a difference.