Voodoo Science Found In the Courtroom

Often it is difficult for a juror to get past the idea that an “expert” testifying in front of them may not be using proven forensic science.  Doctors are trustworthy and scientist are…well… scientific right?

A newly released report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology concluded that the forensic evidence techniques used for DNA, fingerprints, bitemarks, firearms, footwear, and hair analysis all exhibit scientifically flawed methodology. This Wall Street Journal review of the study opines that bitemark analysis is about as reliable as astrology.

While the report did not study Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) directly, it did call for “urgent attention” to examine the scientific validity of evidence used in SBS cases.  Let’s hope this call will translate into action as many people convicted of SBS through flawed forensic science continue to languish in prisons.