Un-sexy Forensics and Wrongful Convictions

| 8/9/2009 5:19:33 PM


Outdated crime laboratories housed inside U.S. law enforcement agencies contribute to wrongful convictions, says Steve Weinberg in the July/August issue of Miller-McCune. He cites a recent study titled, “Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward,” and the results are overwhelmingly clear. He writes:

Law enforcement crime laboratories are underfunded, filled with poorly trained and/or technologically backward staff, beset by quality control problems and, too often, complicit in wrongful convictions because criminalists unintentionally misread evidence or intentionally lie.

Weinberg warns that until crime laboratories are updated with current technology and removed from police headquarters, forensic examiners are more likely to succumb to pressure from prosecutors to provide conviction-worthy evidence. “One incompetent or dishonest criminalist,” he writes, “can infect hundreds of cases in a crime laboratory, with some of those cases mutating into wrongful convictions.”

Source: Miller-McCune

Image by billaday, licensed under Creative Commons.

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter

click me