Jessica D. Gabel & Ashley D. Champion, Regulating the Science of Forensic Evidence: A Broken System Requires a New Federal Agency, 19 Texas L. Rev. See Also 19 (2011).
Science has its watershed moments. In February 2009, the National Academy of Sciences released its much-anticipated diagnosis of and prescription for the problems plaguing the practice of forensic science (NAS Report). The NAS Report confirmed the low but steady noise that had been creeping in the criminal justice system for more than a decade—with the exception of DNA evidence, much of what is presented as forensic science is not really science at all. Instead, a large segment of the high-tech pageantry seen on television, and now expected and employed in court, would fail to clear even the lowest hurdles of stringent scientific inquiry. The NAS Report concluded that forensic science overpromises but underwhelms although such science is routinely used to demonstrate the certainty of a person’s guilt by authoritatively matching evidence from the crime scene or victim to the suspect.