This is likely a duplicate post, but it’s worth it anyway. Here again is a piece from my old Crim. Law prof about forensics.
Paul C. Giannelli (Case Western Reserve University School of Law) (University of Illinois Law Review, Forthcoming, Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-6) has posted Daubert and Forensic Science: The Pitfalls of Law Enforcement Control of Scientific Research on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In 2009, the National Academy of Sciences published a landmark report on forensic science: Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward. The Report represents one of the most important developments in forensic science since the establishment of the crime laboratory in the 1920s. Within months, Justice Scalia cited the report in Commonwealth v. Melendez-Diaz, noting that “[s]erious deficiencies have been found in the forensic evidence used in criminal trials” and “[f]forensic evidence is not uniquely immune from the risk of manipulation.” After two years of studying fingerprints, handwriting, ballistics, and other common forensic techniques, the Academy concluded that “some forensic science disciplines are supported by little rigorous systematic research to validate the discipline’s basic premises and techniques.” Indeed, “only nuclear DNA analysis has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between an evidentiary sample and a specific individual or source.”