STORY: "Your favourite TV crime-stoppers are using junk science," by reporter Rebecca McGray, published by Take Part on April 26, 2015;
GIST: "As the FBI publicly face-palms and tries to wade backward through erroneous evidence—including one case in which dog hair was presented at trial—it’s a good time to remember that hair forensics is just one of many methods that has inched its way into the “junk science” category. “The ironic thing is that the public believes the forensic science we’ve got is infallible in the courtroom,” said Mark Godsey, director of exoneration advocacy group the Ohio Innocence Project. “The reality is, it’s the exact opposite. It’s embarrassing and dangerous.”For people like Godsey who work to fight wrongful convictions, the FBI’s findings were not a surprise. Rather, the report is just the latest strike against the efficacy of many forensic techniques over the last several years.........Comparative techniques, such as those used by the doctor reviewing dental records in Richardson’s case, came under particular scrutiny in the 2009 report. Tire treads and shoe prints present similar problems, Godsey said. Apart from nuclear DNA analysis, the report found, “no forensic method has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, draw a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source.”.........So why are these techniques still used across the country? There’s no consistent federal accreditation system. There isn’t currently a uniform system of educating prosecutor’s offices on which methods are acceptable and which aren’t. The 2009 report recommended the creation of a federal agency to oversee and certify forensic sciences, but political will hasn’t swayed things in that direction, not to mention a lack of funding.
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Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.
The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: