Elie Mystal comments on Attorney-General Sessions’s decision to abolish the the National Commission on Forensic Science, created by President Obama just a few years ago to raise standards for forensic science. In the light of the work of the Innocence Project and similar groups, those standards seem sorely in need of raising, or maybe of being created in the first place(PDF from Virginia Law Review). Here’s an excerpt from Mystal’s post:
Of course, a higher standard for forensic science really only helps people who committed no crime. Sessions isn’t about that. If you look like a criminal, Sessions wants you in jail, somewhat regardless of your actual culpability. The Commission, for instance, wanted the F.B.I. to stop overstating the scientific reliability of crime scene hair tracking. Turns out that’s not as good as it looks on CSI. But you know how prosecutors think: they already know who did it, the burden is on the criminal to not get caught if he’s really innocent.