News 07.12.12

Innocence Project Praises Bills Filed in Both Houses of Congress Today Mandating Scientific Standards for Forensic Sciences


Senate Commerce Committee and House Science Committee Bills Establish Scientific Research and Oversight for Forensic Sciences


 

Contact: Paul Cates, 212-364-5346,

pcates@innocenceproject.org


 

(Washington, D.C. ; July 12, 2012) – Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Donna Edwards and Daniel Lipinski of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology introduced bills today mandating scientific review and standards for forensic sciences. The bills are designed to address the wide ranging deficiencies in scientific validation and the lack of oversight of forensic sciences that were highlighted in a 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences. The following can be attributed to Peter Neufeld, Co-Director of the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Cardozo School of Law.


Today, leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Science Committee took a giant step forward in ensuring that forensic science is based on strong scientific research and governed by consistent and meaningful standards. For far too long, the forensic science disciplines have suffered from the lack of these components, resulting in practices that hamper law enforcement’s ability to solve crimes and contribute to wrongful convictions. The bills that were filed today are an important component of ensuring that forensic sciences are based on solid, reliable research. We urge Congress to act quickly to enact this legislation and to develop and support mechanisms for the practical implementation of the resulting research and standards.

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