Evidence on trial

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  11 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6278, pp. 1128-1129
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6278.1128

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


A report published in 2009 by the U.S. National Research Council found that forensic analysts had long overstated the strength of many types of evidence, including foot- and fingerprints, tire tracks, bullet marks, blood splatters, fire, and handwriting. Many innocent people have ended up behind bars as a result; even DNA evidence, widely seen as the golden standard, can finger the wrong person. This special issue of Science shows that forensic analysts are trying to do better. Many fields are taking a critical look at the value of evidence, testing the accuracy of their methods, and developing new ones that are more science-based. Meanwhile, some scientists are developing the forensic tools of tomorrow.