Advanced Criminal Law :: West Memphis 3
Professor James R. Elkins College of Law
West Virginia University




Forensic Science & the Nation's Crime Labs

National Academy of Sciences Report--2009

National Academy of Sciences Report

Science Found Wanting in Nation's Crime Labs
[New York Times, Feb.5, 2009]

U.S. forensic crime labs need major reform: experts
[Reuters news service, Feb.18, 2009]

Crime labs need major overhaul, study finds
[CNN, Feb.18, 2009]

[NBC's Pete Williams reports on findings by the National Academy of Sciences, which says the science behind crime investigations may be faulty, and that crime labs are underfunded and unreliable][Feb.18, 2009] [video; 1:34 mins.]

Call For Forensics Overhaul Linked To 'CSI' Effect
[NPR :: with link to audio :: 4 min.15 sec]

News Accounts of Problems in Crime Labs

South Carolina Crime Labs
[WYFF TV, Aug.17, 2007] [video]

Law enforcement using private labs for DNA
[Neveda, Desert News, Feb.22, 2009]

FBI Crime Lab Supervisor Dr. Fred Whitehurst & the Oklahoma City Bombing
[video; 4:03 mins.]


CSI Effect
[Jeffrey Tobin for Anderson Cooper 360][5:16 mins.] [discussion of hair analysis]

Crime Lab Report
[Crime Lab Report is an independent organization that analyzes media coverage, industry trends, and public-policies related to forensic science laboratory testing and its application within the criminal justice system.]

Crime Scene Investigation
[video; 29:36 mins] [University of Maryland]

DNA Testing at Washington Crime Lab
[KXLY New video; 2:31 mins.] [March 20, 2008]

Forensics Testimony

Brandon L. Garrett & Peter J. Neufeld, Invalid Forensic Science Testimony and Wrongful Convictions, 95 Vir. L. Rev. 1 (2009) [on-line text][extract from the Article Synopsis: "This is the first study to explore the forensic science testimony by prosecution experts in the trials of innocent persons, all convicted of serious crimes, who were later exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing. Trial transcripts were sought for all 156 exonerees identifed as having trial testimony by forensic analysts, of which 137 were located and reviewed."]

William C. Thompson & Rachel Dioso-Villa, Turning a Blind Eye to Misleading Scientific Testimony: Failure of Procedural Safeguards in a Capital Case, 18 Alb. J.J. Sci. & Tech. 151 (2008)