Site Loader
Rock Street, San Francisco

Imagine yourself on a TV show staple. Crime shows. There have been two murders and you come to a fresh crime scene filled with a plethora of forensic evidence. As you are a genius detective who notices things that other people don’t. That’s when you spot some hair beside the body. Let me stop you there.  The BBC reported, “The FBI has admitted “errors” in evidence provided by its forensics laboratory to US courts to help secure convictions, including in death penalty cases, over more than 20 years”. In fact, in 268 cases from the 1970s to 1999 96% of the cases had errors in hair analysis. This story gets even worse nine of these people were already executed. Errors in hair analysis are also apparently in another case involving Santae Tribble. Tribble was jailed for 28 years for supposedly killing a cabbie. He was convicted by hair left behind at the scene. The expert testified that the chance that the hairs found at the scene which could be matched with someone else would be 1 in 10 million. However when they went back and retested the hairs five of the hairs were from three different humans and one of the hairs came from a dog.  So I recommend you discount that evidence. Next, your sharp eyes find a half-eaten bologna sandwich with a bite mark. Could this be the clue to crack the case? Alas no, In the National Academy of Sciences report on the path forward regarding forensic evidence stating that bite mark analysis, “does not meet the standard of foundational validity.” in fact, there is the self-proclaimed “maestro of bite mark analysis.” This self-proclaimed maestro has found bite marks of a half-eaten bologna and a body submerged in water. However, in five cases that resulted in convictions, all of them were either overturned or the charges were dropped.The DA will still probably use it. Prosecutors still use bite mark evidence and in fact, every time the use of bite mark evidence has been used the court has ruled it admissible. This because judges ruled on precedent, this means that judges rule based on what other people think. The innocence  project identified the main issue: the fact that scientific decisions are made by people without a background in science. Then a forensic specialist pointed out a partial print. his uncertainty extends to seemingly concrete forensic evidence, like fingerprint analysis. Though everyone has different fingerprints parts of a fingerprint can very similar. In fact, fingerprint analysis has a false positive rate of 1 in 306 cases. A great example is the 2004 case, Brandon Mayfield v. the United States. There was a partial fingerprint on a detonator matched Mayfield’s fingerprint. In fact, 3 experts testified how the fingerprints were Mayfield’s. However, Mayfield hadn’t ever even traveled to Spain. It is from this case that parts of a fingerprint can be so similar so that two people to be identified as one. However, since it is partial print it is possible that it can be misinterpreted. Finally, CSI has run all the tests on the pool of blood.  However the integrity of the evidence is compromised because of the two victims, whose blood could have mixed together. Interestingly, DNA the gold standard for forensic evidence has some follies as well. DNA evidence is the most reliable form of forensic evidence. DNA is very fragile. It can be disrupted easily at a messy scene, for example, a large pool of blood with multiple sources could be very difficult to identify whose DNA is whose. In fact the more contributors to a particular source the harder it is to identify who is who. A systemic issue in trials is that low quality DNA samples are presented as highly reliable as opposed to their actual reliability. In a 2003 case involving blood on a glove, an expert testified that the chance that the blood on the glove coming from someone other than the defendant was 1 in 1.1 billion. However during an appeal of the case, after reexamining the glove it turns out that three different sources for the blood and the actual probability would be 1 in 2. So the blood pool is irrelevant. So you must proceed to investigate without forensic evidence and use your above average powers of observation to find the killeer. Though the case is going to be closed from 22 to 42 minutes. However the real issue of forensic evidence is still yet to be solved.These are realities that show just how unreliable forensic science is. All of these factors combined show lack of oversight and how there should reform in these fields of science. In fact, some reform has been made with Texas introducing a dummy science law, which lets inmates apply for retesting of forensic evidence if faulty forensic evidence was used in their case. However, progress is still slow as in March a Pennsylvania judge allowed bite mark evidence was admitted in a death penalty case. These developments are evidence of a turning point in which we stay with our mistakes or make an endeavor for change. Limit 4:10 

Post Author: admin


I'm Velma!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out