Recent Rash of US Exonerations Only the Surface: Many More Remain Wrongfully Imprisoned : Forensic Science contributions


Jeffrey Deskovic, an exoneree himself (NY), writes about the increase in wrongful convictions being overturned in the US from a very personal perspective. He focuses on the root causes of these injustices such as incentivised witnesses (aka snitches), prosecutorial misconducti, dishonest judges and cops, and forensic fraud and junk science like bitemarks.

His statements about forensic junk science and fraud are particularly telling and parallel what I have posted about. here, here, and here.

It is no surprise that forensic associations like the American Academy of Forensic Sciences refuses to admit that they sponsor one sub-group which still promulagates ‘bitemark identification’ (without the use of DNA) in courts. My post on that subject is here.

This is an excerpt from Deskovic’s article. His POV is clear.

Junk science. For 40 years, FBI experts have testified in court about “bullet lead analysis” a procedure in which bullets found at a crime scene are tested for arsenic, tin, silver, and other contaminants or additives, and the findings were compared to analysis of bullets found in the possession of suspects. These experts claimed to be able to link one bullet to others from the same production run. For at least 20 years, FBI officials knew that there were no scientific underpinnings to this junk science — that in fact, there were no studies shown to determine how significant a “match” was.


In 2013, it was revealed that in 27 death penalty cases, FBI forensic experts may have exaggerated the scientific conclusions that were drawn from a so-called “match” between hair found at a crime scene and hair from a defendant.

Tire tracks, footprints, and bite marks are also junk science.

Deskovics’s full Huffington Post article is here.

About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in exoneration, junk forensic science and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Recent Rash of US Exonerations Only the Surface: Many More Remain Wrongfully Imprisoned : Forensic Science contributions

  1. csidds says:

    Reblogged this on FORENSICS in FOCUS @ CSIDDS | News and Trends and commented:

    Failed forensic methods continue to affect lives and families of those wrongfully convicted.

  2. JA says:

    Reblogged this on Trial by Media and commented:
    Thanks, I missed this the first time around. Jeffrey’s testimony on these issues deserves a wide audience.

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