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Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Objective Forensic Scientist

In order to maintain scientific objectivity, forensic science practitioners have to rise above the adversarial nature of the trial process. They have to be true to their science. This is especially difficult when their conclusions conflict with the law enforcement view of the case. Staying at arm's length from law enforcement is much easier for experts in the private sector. Crime lab employees who get too involved in the overall crime investigation are more vulnerable to prosecutorial pressure and influence. Keeping a firewall between forensic science and criminal investigation is vital but difficult. It's easy to understand, for example, how a forensic pathologist in a medical examiner's office might feel as if he or she is part of a law enforcement team, particularly in emotional cases such as those involving suspected infanticide and child abuse.

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