News 02.23.10

Forensic Oversight Badly Needed, Experts Say

From Maine to California, crime lab backlogs and budget shortfalls are threatening to derail court systems and jeopardize fair justice.

MSNBC reports today on the state of the nation’s crime labs and the impact of the National Academy of Science’s 2009 report calling for federal forensic oversight.

There are serious questions about the credibility of nearly every kind of crime lab analysis, the conclusions of which often rest on unproven science filtered through the subjective judgment of technicians whose training and certification vary wildly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

And with crime labs struggling under backlogs that already reach back years in many cities and states, budget cuts driven by the recession are threatening to make credible crime scene analysis a lost art, law enforcement officials and forensic specialists say.


Read the full story here

. (MSNBC, 02/23/10)

News of injustice caused by unvalidated or improper forensics has almost become a weekly event. Last week,

Gregory Taylor was freed in North Carolina

after serving 17 years in prison for a murder evidence shows he didn’t commit. He was convicted in 1993 based in part on misleading forensic analysis of a substance found in his truck.

To call on Congress to take action on forensic reforms, and to read weekly forensic news updates, visit the

Just Science Coalition website

.

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