Speaking of Error in Forensic Science – adversarial system quashes honesty

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Very short but profound talk about the differences between real science and ‘police-forensic science.” From a NIST meeting on Forensic Error. Lynn Garcia from the Texas Forensic Commission sums up the organic differences:

“That culture of fighting and not giving an inch, of trying to discredit people, makes it really hard to do the proactive work that’s needed to advance and improve forensic science,” Garcia said.


About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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2 Responses to Speaking of Error in Forensic Science – adversarial system quashes honesty

  1. SCP says:

    Having interacted with Ms. Garcia, her rhetoric is far from the actions of the Texas FSC. She/They routinely dismiss opinions, allegations, a criticisms from those who necessarily know the truth — the lab analysts. The lab analysts work daily inside the lab, handling, testing, analyzing, and storing the evidence. They work from the over-read lab protocols and they interact with each other extensively. They know where the problems are, or were. They know what needs to be fixed or changed. They know who is lying. Yet, the analysts are persona non grata for FSC investigations, especially if they have been scapegoated and defenselessly fired from employment. These people know a lot, but the FSC would rather be blissfully ignorant

  2. csidds says:

    Lab folks work very hard and budgets are tight. Ms Garcia is correct in describing the review and advance in police labs as adversarial. She has experienced it and so have I. The industry is very polarized and your statements reflect that as true. This doesnt have to be the case.

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