Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Forensics Under Fire

An interesting article by David Dobbs in the July issue of Popular Mechanics magazine examines the doubts that have arisen about traditional forensic science as a result of the much superior reliability of DNA analysis.

Dobbs reports that a study by Arizona State University law professor Michael Saks of 86 convictions that had been overturned by DNA analysis revealed that traditional forensic science had played a role in securing 54 of them; only eyewitness testimony was involved in a higher number of wrongful convictions.

1 comment:

Jim said...

I passed this along to one of the defence witnesses for the wrongfully convicted Guy Paul Morin. His response:

"Very useful. Thanks. I love the sentence:

"'many still believe that, when performed conscientiously and rigorously, traditional forensic methods are reliable.'

"In the middle of that sentence lurks a weasel the size of an elephant."

New DNA testing led to a directed acquital of Morin by the appeals court and an inquiry found "misrepresentation of forensic evidence by the Ontario Centre of Forensic Sciences." - Wikipedia