Thursday, February 05, 2009

New Study to Blast Forensic Lab Standards

The New York Times is reporting today the imminent release of a study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, at the request of Congress, reviewing the methodology employed by many crime labs across the country. The article states that "the National Academy wrote that the field suffered from a reliance on outmoded and untested theories by analysts who often have no background in science, statistics, or other empirical disciplines." The news report also states that "the National Institute of Justice, a research arm of the Justice Department, tried to derail the forensic study by refusing to finance it and demanding to review the findings before publication." Obviously this will be huge news when it is actually released, and defense attorneys should be looking for its release in the near future. Unfortunately the Times does not give any indication when that release might actually occur.