The Department of Justice and Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced more than 30 members of the newly formed National Commission on Forensic Science. The commission aims to strengthen the validity and reliability of forensic science, improve its application to the criminal justice system and make policy recommendations to the Attorney General. The National Institution of Standards and Technology is responsible for setting and applying scientific standards and measurements. This kind of oversight is increasingly important as science progresses and forensic science techniques used in the past are increasingly being found to be unreliable. Microscopic hair analysis, forensic dentistry, and arson science are among the disciplines coming into question as evolving science has shown that their findings can lead to false convictions. Strengthening uniform and accurate practices in forensic science will help convict the guilty and exonerate those who have been wrongfully convicted or accused.
The first meeting on Feb 3rd in Washington D.C. will bring together over 30 federal, state, and local forensic scientists; academics; law enforcement officials; prosecutors; defense attorneys and judges.
Read the release from the Department of Justice here: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/January/14-at-029.html