Examples where Forensic language and the media lead to misinformation and confusion for juries.

How things have changed? The term “similar’ used in fiber analysis case. http://www.forensicmag.com/news/2015/06/forensic-scientist-testifies-fibers-victims-hair-similar-distant-carpet

But then another case uses “unique” to describe a broken car headlight. http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/forensic-expert-certain-car-on-cctv-belonged-to-sheffield-man-accused-of-murder-1-7305526

What the “CSI effect looks like on “Bones” TV show. Accuracy in forensics not a priority. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinakillgrove/2015/06/11/forensic-anthropology-on-tv-five-most-and-least-accurate-episodes-of-bones/

Telling the difference between ‘suicidal and homicidal’ injuries is the subject of this JFS article from 2014. Determination is not certain by any means. A recent, yet unpublished, study by the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) is also focused with this subject.  The study was  managed by Robert Oliver MD who found little reliability in examiner agreement. Sources say he is looking into a do-over.

From the JFS article:

“However, the differential diagnosis can be difficult and may even be impossible on rare occasions [7], even with previous experience with such cases [8]. In some cases, many of the factors reputedly indicative of self-infliction can be absent, while elements more typical of homicide are present [9-12].”

Read the abstract.

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Then we see this going on. A large gathering for Quality Assurance in the forensic sciences. http://www.nist.gov/director/orals.cfm



The Toronto Star absolutely blasts bad forensics like bitemark IDs, hair and rips rxperts who shut up about their opinions being only one of many possibilities. Long read. Great pix.


About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in criminal justice, criminal justice reform, CSI, expert testimony, forensic testimony, National FOrensic Science Commission and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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