Are the Scientific and Forensic Methods Used in Crime Labs Outdated?

A recent article in the New York Times, titled Science Found Wanting in Nation’s Crime Labs, suggests that scientific practices used in crime labs and by police force are outdated and not as reliable as originally thought. National Academy of Sciences is working on a report that is expected to be released this month.

People who have seen it say it is a sweeping critique of many forensic methods that the police and prosecutors rely on, including fingerprinting, firearms identification and analysis of bite marks, blood spatter, hair and handwriting.

The report suggests that poorly trained technicians then exaggerate forensic methods in court. The report is not binding but it is expected to be highly influential. Some speculate it will give the needed ammunition to defense lawyers. Some believe it might help to make forensic evidence and scientific methods more reliable to decrease the amount of wrongfully convicted.
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