I am writing to alert NACDL membership to an important development that may have a significant impact on criminal defense practice. The National Research Council today released a sweeping critique of current forensic science methods presented by police and prosecutors in courtrooms across the country. The report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, found that too many “crime” labs evince a prosecutorial bias more oriented toward convicting suspects rather than scientific truth. It found that many currently accepted fields are based on outmoded or untested theories propounded by non-scientists or technicians with insufficient or no background in biological or physical sciences, statistics or mathematics, and that many of those self-styled experts exaggerate their conclusions and/or testify beyond their expertise. The report, which was ordered by Congress in 2005 and cost $1.5 million, was released at 1 p.m. Eastern time and may be downloaded from the National Academies’ web site. More information and a direct link to the report will be posted on NACDL’s Web site later today.
Charles M. Rowland is a proud member of the National Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Ohio Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers. If you have a DUI case involving forensic science contact Ohio’s only FSA certified attorney at 937-897-9542 or 1-888-ROWLAND.