Cops in Lab Coats and Forensics in the Courtroom
25 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2015 Last revised: 2 Apr 2019
Date Written: July 1, 2015
Law enforcement’s past cover-ups of faulty forensics is at the heart of Sandra Guerra Thompson’s new book, Cops in Lab Coats: Curbing Wrongful Convictions Through Independent Forensic Laboratories. Thompson posits that forensic labs should be independent, rather than controlled by prosecutors and used to convict persons no matter the human cost. In brief, Thompson’s book captures the recent history of forensic validation — and invalidation — and its critical impact on the criminal justice system. Her inclusion of wrongful convictions mirrors the national conversation where innocence is the primary impetus to ensure that forensic disciplines become more reliable, forensic findings more testable, and forensic inquiries more independent.
Keywords: forensics, police, criminal, mass incarceration, wrongful convictions, innocence
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