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Monday, January 6, 2020

The Effect of DNA Technology on Forensic Science

Forensic science was facing a sudden reckoning. The advent of DNA analysis in the late 1980s had not only transformed the future of criminal investigation; it also illuminated the past, holding old convictions, and the forensic work that helped win them, up to scrutiny. Rather than affirming the soundness of forensic science, DNA testing exposed its weaknesses. Of the 250 DNA exonerations that occurred by 2010 throughout the United States, shoddy forensic work--which ranged from making basic crime lab errors to advancing claims unsupported by science--had contributed to half of them, according to a review by the Innocence Project. The sheer number of people who were imprisoned using faulty science called into the question the premise of forensics itself.

Pamela Colloff, Blood Will Tell, 2018

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