Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Flawed science: Professor Alan Young (Osgoode Hall Law School) tells an "Ideas" conference that, "Wrongful convictions are just not the result of lying witnesses or circumstantial evidence... Even the most sophisticated science fails." Antonia Zerbisias. Toronto Star. (Must Read. HL);

STORY: "Ideacity 2014: Justice served, denied and derailed," by columnist Antonia Zerbisias,  published by the Toronto Star on June 20, 2014.

GIST: "Fresh off his victory at the Supreme Court of Canada where, in December, he won a landmark case decriminalizing prostitution, Young spoke at length of his pet cause, The Innocence Project, a movement which seeks to exonerate those imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. Wrongful convictions are just not the result of lying witnesses or circumstantial evidence, he insisted. Even the most sophisticated science fails. “Fifty-sex per cent of (the wrongful convictions) are the result of people in white lab coats,” he said, explaining that blood and hair analyses and even DNA tests, the so-called “gold standard,” have often proven to be unreliable. “God forbid that your son or daughter or yourself ever get caught up in the criminal justice system when it’s this dysfunctional,” he cautioned. “The legal system is set up to reach only a result, not a correct result.”.........In an interview with the Star, Young elaborated that his project at Osgoode Hall, unlike the innocence movement in the U.S., is underfunded. “This is extremely difficult work to do,” he admitted. “People just don’t believe that wrongful convictions happen so frequently in Canada and how systemic they are. “Criminal justice shows on television cause a lot of unrealistic expectations. Scientific analysis is far less accurate than television depicts.”"

The entire story can be found at:



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