Reliability of Hair Analysis Problematic According to Study – Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer
Forensic analysis has been one of the most trustworthy forms of evidence used in the American criminal justice system. Not only has it proved to be a helpful means to definitively identify suspects, but it has also assisted with pinpointing timelines of events and has proven or disproven the theories that have been used to tell precisely what happened and who was involved in criminal cases. At our criminal law firm in Miami, we have relied on forensic evidence to help us with various cases over the years. However, given the rise of recent research that has shown some of the methods that are used for compiling forensic evidence are not as substantial as they were once thought to be, our Miami criminal defense attorneys has strongly taken into consideration the types of forensic evidence that are used to support cases and their validity.
A Look at Faulty Forensic Evidence
Our criminal lawyer in Miami read an interesting report that was published by ProPublica journalists in 2015. In this report, the journalists highlighted that a tremendous amount of flawed forensics had been reported in criminal cases. These journalists found that while DNA analysis was certainly a powerful tool for prosecutions, it was also a tool that held value for defendants. As a result, dozens of wrongful convictions have been overturned.
Additionally, our Miami criminal defense lawyer reviewed a recent report that was published in the Washington Post, highlighting a study that was conducted by the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers, out of 28 examiners in the forensic hair field, 26 of them gave blemished testimony in more than 200 of the criminal cases they served on in the 1980s and the 1990s. In these cases, the analysts exaggerated the accuracy of the analysis that they provided, and their exaggerations actually aided prosecutors and damaged the testimony given by defendants, preventing their ability to receive a fair trial. This was proven to be the case in a total of 95% of the 268 trials that have been reviewed by the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers so far. It is to the understanding of our Miami criminal defense lawyer that 32 of those cases actually resulted in defendants being sentenced to death, and of those who were given this most severe sentence, 14 either perished while they were in prison, or they were executed.
In 2009, the NAS, National Academy of Sciences, conducted a comprehensive review of the forensic sciences. In their findings of this review, they stated that despite the claims that forensic evidence – specifically DNA analysis – is foolproof, in reality, there is a stark lack of information present in the area. In other words, the results of forensic evidence may actually not be as accurate and reliable as it was once thought.
What Errors in DNA and Forensic Evidence Means?
Since DNA and forensic evidence has been found to not be as foolproof as it was once thought, changes to the criminal justice system, including the overturning of convictions, may occur. No one can say whether or not all cases that have been convicted using DNA and forensic evidence will be overturned, as other substantial evidence to support convictions may still exist. However, our Miami criminal lawyer is skeptical of supposed “foolproof” evidence touted by the prosecution.
There are a lot of questions that remain. If you were convicted as a result of forensic evidence – specifically DNA evidence that involved hair – contact our criminal law firm in Miami today!
Stroleny Law, P.A. handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer.