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Mon, May 19

DNA Analysis Exposes Flaws in an Inexact Forensic Science

By now — despite the apparent infallibility of detectives from Sherlock Holmes to Lieutenant Columbo, despite the clinical genius of wizards from Dr. Quincy to Gil Grissom — it should surprise no one that forensic science is not the model of exactitude that popular culture might have us believe. The scientific rigor of entrenched forensic disciplines has been challenged for years. Still, we live in a “C.S.I.” world, and television viewers could be forgiven for assuming that laboratory techniques used to catch bad guys are unassailable. In real life, though, the soundness of criminal analysis is being regularly tested, both in America’s labs and in its courtrooms. Read more.