More thoughts on the legal system in USA.
Alright, I admit, that headline is a bit sensational. The science itself isn’t all bad, it’s how it gets used and the failure of the criminal justice system to be sensible about science that leads to science being misused.
So what’s gone wrong?
Stated conclusions far exceed the reasonable limits of the science. If you haven’t read John Grisham’s The Innocent Man, go buy a copy right now. To be sure, the real story is less about science and more about dishonesty, but in the book (non-fiction) we learn how experts take tentative findings and blow them up into rock-solid evidence. You know what’s really reliable? Most DNA evidence. Beyond that, a lot of forensic science doesn’t so much give answers as it suggests a relationship. These are not the same thing, but forensic scientists, eager to validate their own work and hold offenders accountable, routinely overstate the…
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