Saturday, February 21, 2009
Forensic Science practices under scrutiny
In a recently posted editorial, How to Bring Real Science Into the Courtroom - A disturbing new report says our criminal courts have been relying on bad evidence, Radley Balko takes a hard look at the state of forensic science in our courts.
He outlines several areas in which our methods could be improved. Additionally, in this time of higher unemployment, his ideas could open the door to more jobs in the field. With more people looking to enter this line of work, access to training becomes essential.
The recommendation that "[d]efendants should be given access to their own forensic experts. For every prosecution expert, defendants should be issued a voucher to hire their own expert" would have huge budgetary implications for our courts. Many cases feature forensic expertise in a variety of disciplines. Some of those experts only provide lab services and are not called into court to testify. Essentially, this editorial is calling for defendants to have a court/tax payer sponsored lab at their service for trial.
Read the editorial and see what you think. As always, your comments and e-mails are most welcome.