“To be come informed about the method and practices used by the police to conduct criminal investigations.”
Earlier today I shared a web site and document that I felt could help us better understand what is right and wrong with how criminal investigations are being handled here in Santa Barbara County. Just a few moments ago I received the most incredible enlightening response from a friend of my blog and emails. In a mere two paragraphs they were able to sum up what I have been trying to grasp for years; what is wrong with Forensic Evidence and it’s use by criminal courts. I hope you all find it this response as informative as I did..
As you know, I am formally trained as a scientist. When I entered the field of forensic science after ten years of real science, I was confused for many years – little made sense. Thirty years and hundreds of cases later I understand: the criminal justice system in this country is not only stuck in the 19th century, criminal forensic science has been cast by the criminal justice system into something that is not even science. “Forensic science” is truly an oxymoron. The CSI programs on TV have no reflection of reality. The bottom line is any criminalist can testify in a court of law usually without fear of peer review, ever. He can express overt bias for his DA’s case without fear of repercussion. I have seen it all: outrageous lies and junk science to the extreme by opposing experts. The district attorneys’ offices in many jurisdictions are the equivalent of lynch mobs. Nothing has changed since the Dr Samuel Sheppard case of the mid 1950’s.
The underlying principle of science is peer review, the work product of a scientist in the legal milieu is reports and testimony, none of which are ever made public. It is almost impossible to obtain reports or testimony transcripts of a criminalist or expert unless you have the big bucks to make it so (good luck dealing with a court reporter if you are not an attorney!). So many in this country have been wronged by our broken criminal justice system. Yet, what is so ironic – there are only a handful of people in this country who understand the underlying reasons that make it so bad. If you hear someone say that “our legal system is the best in the world” they do not realize there are tens of thousands of people who shouldn’t be in prison at all and those who are serving terms in excess for what they really did. “Lawless America” will hopefully show this country the travesty that our criminal justice system is and the continual injustices perpetrated by the system.
S.B.C.C.C. The place where COMMON SENSE never goes out of style!