The Innocence Project |PLUS| Public Defenseless Podcast
This week on the Public Defenseless Podcast, I am joined by Chris Fabricant, Chief of Strategic Litigation at the Innocence Project and author of Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System. After decades of indoctrination from movies, TV, and media, the average American likely believes that the evidence used in a court of law is mostly grounded in solid science. To enter into the halls of court rooms around the country, surely, there is a rigorous process to ensure the evidence in a court case is vetted before deciding the fate of people's lives….right?
On today's episode, Chris and I cover just how wrong that assumption is. Peeling back the layers of junk science like blood splatter analysis, bite mark analysis, shoe print analysis, and yes, even fingerprints, I hope to reveal just how precarious our entire legal system really is. After one judge, usually ill equipped and ill prepared to carefully scrutinize science, admits science into our court of laws, it becomes nearly impossible to rid ourselves of the infection that is junk science.
Even after the revelation of DNA evidence, many of those in powerful positions in the legal community continue to uphold the status quo. Hiding behind doctrines like finality, the legal system becomes stuck in a status quo not interested in correcting wrongful convictions. Even after reports from the National Academy of Sciences in 2009 and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology 2016 derided most forms of forensic science, our institutions continue to value any guilty verdict over truth.
As always you can listen on:
You Can Check Out Those Reports Here:
2016 PCAST report: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/PCAST/pcast_forensic_science_report_final.pdf
2009 NSA Report https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/228091.pdf