Crime Labs and Forensics Reform - Federal Initiatives

The 2009 report of the National Academy of Sciences, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward (“NAS Report”) identifies deficiencies with forensic evidence and sets forth a roadmap for reform.  The federal government should implement the NAS Report’s recommendations along with those in NACDL’s Principles and Recommendations to Strengthen Forensic Evidence and Its Presentation in the Courtroom.

In February 2013, DoJ and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the formation of a National Commission on Forensic Science. Comprised of approximately 30 federal, state, and local forensic science service providers, academic researchers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and community leaders, selected by the Attorney General, the Commission's duties include recommending priorities for standards development; reviewing guidance identified or developed by subject-matter experts; and developing recommendations on policy issues like minimum requirements for training, proficiency testing, or accreditation.

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