Forensic Scientists - Controversies


Questions about forensic science, fingerprint evidence and the assumption behind these disciplines have been brought to light in some publications, the latest being an article in the New York Post. The article stated that "No one has proved even the basic assumption: That everyone's fingerprint is unique." The article also stated that "Now such assumptions are being questioned - and with it may come a radical change in how forensic science is used by police departments and prosecutors."

On 25 June 2009 the Supreme Court issued a 5-to-4 decision in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts stating that crime laboratory reports may not be used against criminal defendants at trial unless the analysts responsible for creating them give testimony and subject themselves to cross-examination. The Supreme Court cited the National Academies report Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States in their decision. Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia referred to the National Research Council report in his assertion that "Forensic evidence is not uniquely immune from the risk of manipulation."

In 2009, scientists indicated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence therefore suggesting it is possible to falsely accuse or acquit a person or persons using forged evidence.

Although forensic science has greatly enhanced investigators ability to solve crimes, they have limitations and must be scrutinized in and out of the courtroom to avoid wrongful convictions, which have happened.

Read more about this topic:  Forensic Scientists

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