News 03.18.09

An Overhaul of the Forensic System

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony today from the co-chairman of the National Academy of Sciences committee that recently released a report calling for the creation of an independent agency to oversee and support forensic science in our criminal courts.

Former Judge Harry Edwards told members of the Judiciary Committee that the committee was “thoroughly convinced” that it was time to move from the current forensic science system, “which is dysfunctional.”

“The principal point of our report is simple,” Edwards said in his testimony today. “There’s an obvious need to overhaul the existing system of forensic science in the United States. …Unfortunately, adversarial approach to the submission of evidence in court is not well-suited to the task of finding scientific truth. Judicial review alone will not cure the ills of the forensic science community.”


Watch a video of Edwards’ testimony and questioning from Senators

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Download the National Academy of Sciences report

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learn more about unvalidated or improper science as a contributing cause of wrongful convictions

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