It is an exciting time that we all in live. I am confident that when historians of the law look back at this time, they will point to this era as a corrective time where the exaggerations of some of the disciplines in forensic science. We are shifting from the “wild wild west” mentality of police science performed by glorified and undereducated traffic cops and in favor of true validated science performed by credentialed neutral forensic scientists. Although there is a tremendous amount of inertia against this shift and at times we are going through the era kicking and screaming, there is a favorable change. This shift is the only morally and ethically correct thing that we as a society can do.
We only need to look at the examination of the cases of exoneration. Several decades ago, it is doubtful that anyone would have cared. Now, momentum is building. The cause of innocence is now accepted. According to the Innocence Project at least 266 post-conviction DNA exonerations have occurred including 17 on death row– a shocking number to be sure. But what is not translated in this figure is the non-DNA exonerations and also the number of falsely convicted people currently serving time or who have served time for a crime that they did not commit.
You see we are living beneath a dam. That dam is holding back 100+ years of wrong. Over a hundred years of using non-validated disciplines of forensic science. Now, you can say that dam isn’t going break all you want, but when the rains come and that dam bursts open and all that’s bad comes flooding out, there is not going to be a time to go running for high ground. Now is the time. Now we must demand true science in the courtroom and banish non-validated forensic science to prevent false convictions.