Essay about The Ethics Of Forensic Science

1049 Words Nov 2nd, 2014 5 Pages
The discipline of forensic science has been under fire for quite some time now, and one can say that it is completely justified. Fraudulent and incompetent analysts, such as Annie Dookhan, have performed investigations in flawed crime labs, like that of the Baltimore crime lab, and through this process, have imprisoned the innocent, just as Cameron T. Willingham was falsely convicted. Issues occurred in all of these instances that allowed for the devaluing of the field of forensic science. If a lab is faulty or fraudulent, it is likely for the analysts who work within it to be flawed as well, as the two are essentially a team. With the case of the Baltimore crime lab, it was revealed that the lab analysts were contaminating evidence with their own DNA, as they did not put their own DNA samples into the system. Their DNA thus becomes a foreign entity, a possibility of other offenders. The Innocence Project (2008) explains that “this can incorrectly steer investigators away from identifying criminals, can weaken criminal prosecutions, and can lead police to discount what should be strong DNA evidence and instead focus on innocent suspects” (para. 2). Other serious issues were found in the lab, enough for the lab to be seen as incapable of being fixed. Gunshot residue contamination was found in 2001 and continued for two years (Innocence Project 2008, para. 5). Analysts provide evidence to which the guilt or innocence of an individual is determined. Annie Dookhan, of the…

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