MadSci Network: Other

Re: How can a forensic scientist twist the evidence to convict an innocent man?

Date: Fri May 26 04:44:51 2006
Posted By: Dale L. Laux, Staff, Serology/DNA, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification
Area of science: Other
ID: 1148404340.Ot


Pure sciences like math and physics are not subjective.  There are rules, 
and the numbers add up or they don't.  But biology is somewhat subjective 
in the interpretation of the data.  And unfortunately, undertrained, 
inexperienced analysts can make mistakes in the interpretation of data, 
and this includes hair comparisons, microscopic analysis, and even 
interpretion of DNA data.  That's why the defense can hire experts of 
their own to go over the data and make sure that the results are accurate.

Unfortunately, there have been dishonest analysts that have lied on the 
stand about results.  Why they would do this is anybody's guess and 
thankfully, there aren't many like that.  Most analysts understand that 
the most important thing they can take into court with them is their 
integrity.  If they lose that, they don't have anything left.

I hope that this helps Olivia and good luck in your career.


Dale L. Laux
Forensic Scientist

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