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By Jack King
NACDL News columns.
Forensic science evidence presented in court is often based on speculative research, subjective interpretations and inadequate quality control procedures, according to a report just released by NACDL. Police need to be taken out of the laboratory, and the “crime labs” need to be taken out of the police station, with the goal of ensuring the scientific integrity of forensic science evidence. Neutrality and objectivity are as essential to preventing wrongful convictions and exonerating the innocent as they are to solving crimes and convicting the guilty.
A year ago, the National Research Council of the National Academies (NRC) issued a report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States, which set forth the case for forensic reform. In July 2009, NACDL formed a Task Force on the Future of Forensic Science to provide additional recommendations for the improvements in the justice system as it relates to scientific evidence and testimony.
“Cases are sometimes made or broken on scienti
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