In 2016 the White House reported that they were going to scrutinize some forensic sciences in the court room. The White House's scrutiny, however, over some forensic disciplines is probably justified. When the level of evidence required is very high, the expectations from the scientific community should also be very high. These are usually cases where consequences of decisions can lead to long imprisonments. Being speculative about what evidence means, or making decisions based on poor science is irresponsible. The public has high expectations from the scientific community, and when experts testify that there is scientific evidence which proves a case, there is trust involved in those statements. If judges allow experts to present themselves as such, and to express their opinions as the truth, errors involved making scientific conclusions may not be well understood by the layperson.
Forensic psychological evaluations have become a valuable resource for the criminal justice system by addressing important forensic questions. For instance, assessing risk for violence can help courts make appropriate decisions on issues such as sentencing, granting privileges, and community reintegration. If an individual is assessed to be a high risk for future violence, a judge has grounds to order a more restrictive setting compared to someone who is a lower risk for recidivism. By tailoring court decisions based on accurate psychological evaluations, the community is safer while the defendant's rights are also protected.
As technology advances by leaps and bounds, digital devices are now an integral part of our lives. Every day we use cell phones, laptops, iPads, iPods, GPS systems -- the list is endless.
Most of us are familiar with the recent report from the National Academy of Sciences regarding the current state of forensic science. The section of the 254-page report that addresses the forensic discipline of bloodstain pattern analysis comprises fewer than two pages, yet succeeds, I believe, in making some astute points.
One specialized operation that is routinely abused is the crime scene operation. From small police departments to large law enforcement agencies, the biggest problem with crime scene operations is the presence and interference of non-essential personnel at the scene. The law enforcement agency’s administration should deal with this and other crime scene investigation problems through effective crime scene management.