Should we trust forensic science?

Here is an interesting debate – Should We Trust Forensic Science? 

It disputes an earlier article, Forensic Pseudoscience The Unheralded Crisis of Criminal Justice, questioning aspects of American forensic science.

Even when science is accredited to ISO 17025 there remains unsatisfactory room for doubt.  All the cost and effort of meeting the ISO standard still leaves many issues open for debate.  Very important factors lie beyond the reach of paying for auditing.

A key danger is that courts may accept accreditation at face value.  This could lead them to thinking of the annually-renewed accreditation certificate as a reason not to use their own skills in probing the quality of the specific item of evidence that has been presented.

Maybe it’s worse in the USA where ISO 17025 accreditation is less popular.  The Boston Globe reports The Case Against Evidence.

The case against evidence – From fingerprints to high-tech CSI, forensic science plays a much smaller role than you would think

This is another area where comparing accredited and non-accredited labs could show how much difference accreditation really makes.

Bothering to design such a study should be a priority.

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