James E. Starrs

Portrait of James E. Starrs
Professor of Law and Forensic Sciences; David B. Weaver Research Professor of Law
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

James E. Starrs has been a member of the law school faculty since 1964. He has taught courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, and property as well as electives in forensic science and adjudicatory criminal procedure. 

He completed his post-graduate work in criminal law at New York University, where he subsequently held a Ford Foundation Fellowship. Professor Starrs holds a joint appointment with the Forensic Sciences Department in GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Co-author of a leading textbook on scientific evidence, Professor Starrs has directed or participated in scientific investigations into the Lindbergh kidnapping, the Sacco and Vanzetti robbery-murders, the Alfred Packer cannibalism case, the assassination of Senator Huey Long, the hatchet murders of the Bordens, the CIA-LSD related death of Frank Olson, the identification of Jesse James, the death of Meriwether Lewis, the location of the remains of Samuel Washington, and the Boston Strangler case. 

He has written numerous articles on issues in forensic science and has written and edited the Scientific Sleuthing Review, a journal of legal and scientific information, for more than 28 years. His forensic science research and results are presented in his book, A Voice for the Dead (2005). Professor Starrs is a distinguished fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.


BA, LLB, St. John's University; LLM, New York University