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Main page » Non-Fiction » Tainting Evidence: Inside The Scandals At The Fbi Crime Lab

Tainting Evidence: Inside The Scandals At The Fbi Crime Lab


Most forensic scientists are not independent experts; most are affiliated with police or prosecutions agencies.
Their job is to build a case for the prosecution. The authors mention the TV show "Quincy"; "CSI" is a better and current example, though a drama.

One example given is "voiceprints" - a unique pattern for any single individual's speech. But research by the National Academy of Sciences concluded there is no validity to this claim. Another fault is to use overstated conclusions using undefined terms such as "match" or "identical to". Its purpose is to hide information that is "discoverable". The FBI interpretation of the adversarial approach of the justice system serves neither science nor truth.

The FBI system is to let a civilian scientist do the tests, but have an FBI agent testify about them in court. This prevents a defendant from confronting the witness! And their lab does not meet ASCLD/LAB accreditation criteria.

Chapter 7 says that DNA typing is NOT a genetic fingerprint; to portray is as such is scientific fraud. Fingerprints are unique, DNA profiles are not. DNA typing produces a random probability match, not a definitive match. There are 3 problems in its use. It came out of regulated, pristine medical labs, but was adapted to unregulated crime labs; making a match is far from scientifically certain, it can be highly subjective; and, the means of computing statistical probability of a match was disputed. And evidence could have been both contaminated and planted. The odds of a match are created subjectively.

Chapter 4 on Ruby Ridge explains it all.
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