I am struck with the recent declarations by the NCFS regarding their non-mandatory “solutions” to forensic experts being scientifically “shady” in their testimony. Some folks may ask, “What is the backstory on this? Why is this group (now composed of the best of the AAFS and crime lab communities) now targeting such transgressions and professional fraud ?”
Truth being said, this has been going on forever. Sir Alec Jeffries is to blame for causing all this dustup.
This blog has been dedicated to shining some light on the above questions.
The NCFS has finally “called out” certain forensic ner’ do wells (after 5 years of the AAFS yakking about nothing substantive regarding these problems) since judges are not savvy enough to protect their system from such prejudicial evidence use against criminal defendants.
There is no rational reason to ignore the presence of convictions sentencing the innocent within the US Criminal Justice system. The data continues to grow. Irrational thought does erupt amongst certain forensic “stakeholders” (such as criticizing or spoofing the NAS 2009 report on “Strengthening the Forensic Sciences”) and is generally composed of two variations.
1) It’s the price of doing business. This similar to “friendly fire.” Totally abhorrent in my opinion.
2) “Blame it on the lawyers.” A phrase used in desperation by many forensic types who have found themselves on the wrong side of lengthy post conviction appellate battles where DNA eventually expunged their “scientific” prowess.
On the legal side, a tactic oft used by “tough on crime at all costs” prosecutors, when jammed up in wrongful conviction litigation, is: “the defendant is still a ” bad person.” This is an end around manuever where eye-witness accounts and other noxious types of witness evidence used at trial is later proven false during appellate review. This new evidence could be DNA, compelling exculpatory evidence or “egregious/pervasive/systemic/more than one instance” prosecutorial misconduct.
Personally having been involved in 8 successful exoneration cases opposing the “best” of the AAFS odontologists, I have experienced opposing witnesses exhibiting serious symptoms of what the NCFS is talking about. Yet the AAFS seems oblivious to their negligent past and is self absorbed with looking good in the current press.
Sorry to bore anyone, but here are more two cases of recent exoneration of defendants sentenced to death.