Wednesday, February 18, 2009
NRC report on forensic evidence casts further doubt on reliability of lab evidence
In deciding the Melendez-Diaz case, the Supreme Court should not give any weight to whether lab reports are reliable; the essence of Crawford is to make this factor irrelevant. But if the Court were tempted to take reliability into account, a series of recent developments should provide strong caution: Lab reports are not as reliable as people are tempted to believe. Now a report by a committee of the National Research Council has struck another nail in the coffin. The report, issued today, criticizes the nation's entire forensic system, including labs, on numerous grounds. You can read the press release announcing the report, and find a link through which you can order the full report, by clicking here.