a reply to: JesseVentura
This video is a bit of an over simplification of the topic. It fails to address a number of issues, some of which aren't anything to do with forensic
experts themselves but systemic problems with the police, court, and witnessing system.
If one testifies that two hairs appear to be of the same coloration as a defendant and the crown describes that as 'a match' and the defense doesn't
object and the judge doesn't intervene, it will stand. There is nothing the expert can do about that even if their original testimony was bang on.
If police have several samples analyzed during an investigation and discard samples that do not correlate with a hit, there is nothing the expert can
do about that. Police gather information that prosecutes, it's unfortunately what they do. They don't always store everything an forensic expert would
like, and the forensic expert is often performing the test blind.
Juror training in most western countries is generally poor which results in increased pressure on experts to bring evidence to the table.
Statistically we ask for more evidence than ever before to reach a conviction. In an ideal world you might be okay with this, but then when you hear a
pedophile was lifted four or five times before finally being convicted it stings. Add on top of this that judges and jurors are ineffective at
identifying accurate science from utter nonsense.
As an aside, I'm not a supporter of many forensic techniques, hair matching is particularly prone to nonsense. I've criticized various techniques and
practices on this website and others. I'm especially not a fan of how forensic testimony is currently handled in the United States and it saddens me
that staff who were hired by Obama to bring about reform have recently quit ... but it also frustrates me when a person takes such a serious and
complex topic and responds by being glib.
Claiming that people shouldn't be imprisoned if they are innocent, shouldn't make false claims in testimony, and should lose their jobs when they mess
up is about as useful as muttering 'thou shalt not kill' in the middle of a gun fight and expecting results. It's just an idealized assertion. You've
been in the military so you might appreciate the comparison.
Can you make another video or perhaps address in writing what you would actually do to reform expert witness testimony within the American legal
system? Whilst I'm sure we can agree on the basic principals I'm not entirely sure your reform approach of:
1. Get angry
2. Fire people
3. Jail people
is that much different from how America got in this situation in the first place.
P.S - not avoiding your question of ideas to fix things ... you're welcome to ask whatever, but from this vid you don't seem that deeply interested?
edit on 5-6-2015 by Pinke because: P.S