Questions raised regarding the validity of forensic tests routinely used in criminal trials

Numerous forensic tests are being called into question due to the fact that their underlying reliability has never been meaningfully evaluated although they are frequently used by prosecutors to gain convictions. According to a draft report issued by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, many tests that are routinely employed in criminal trials are not scientifically valid without further study. The report is most critical of bite-mark, footwear, and gun and tool-mark tests. The most controversial aspect of the report contends that tests linking bullets and shell casings to specific guns fall short of the necessary standards to be scientific. The report likewise states that complex-mixture DNA analysis, e.g., puddles of blood from multiple people, are too unscientific at this point. Simple DNA analysis and fingerprint comparisons were the only tests that were described as currently meeting scientific standards for reliability.

The report advises that judges should take into account the reliability of the challenged tests before allowing their admissibility at trial, and should advise jurors of their potential error rate. The commission further cautions that judges should be particularly careful with admitting the results of any of these tests until their reliability can be more exhaustively evaluated. This report could have broad implications for federal and state prosecutors across the country as these tests are frequently the cornerstone of their cases. There may also be a rise in defendants seeking post-conviction relief due to the fact that one of these tests may have been employed during their criminal trial.


NextBecome Our Client

Mase Mebane & Briggs

  • 2601 South Bayshore Drive, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33133
  • Telephone: 305-377-3770 Toll Free: 866-957-5777
  • Fax: 305-377-0080

Copyright © 2005-2024 Mase. All Rights Reserved. Brandamos - Miami SEO Company

The hiring of an attorney is an important decision and you should not rely upon advertising alone. We urge you to review our professional qualifications and/or request a copy of our firm resume. Nothing herein is intended to constitute legal advice regarding any specific problem.