Forensic Science Improvement Bill Submitted to Congress
Posted: July 12, 2012 6:00 pm
A bill that would significantly strengthen the forensic sciences was introduced today by leaders from the Senate Commerce and the House Science Committees. Sponsors of the “Forensic Science and Standards Act of 2012” include Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Donna Edwards and Dan Lipinski. Designed to address problems outlined by a 2009 National Academy of Sciences report, the bill would require the development and implementation of higher forensic standards and would promote research through the National Science Foundation.
The bill’s introduction coincides with the announcement, earlier this week that an unknown number of federal criminal convictions may have been based on the flawed forensic analysis of FBI hair and fiber analysts. The FBI and the Department of Justice have launched a massive review to uncover possible wrongful convictions in these cases.
Approximately 50% of the 292 wrongful convictions overturned through DNA testing involved unvalidated and improper forensic science.
Read the Innocence Project’s statement supporting the bill.
Read the Senate Commerce Committee’s press release.
Read more about the National Academy of Sciences report.