The Atlantic

Jeff Sessions and the Odds of Imprisoning Innocents

The attorney general is standing athwart a long overdue movement to reform forensics yelling stop.
Source: Lawrence Bryant / Reuters

The Washington Post reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions “will end a Justice Department partnership with independent scientists to raise forensic science standards.” If that doesn’t scan as hugely important subject a bit of background is needed.

In 1989, when a wrongly imprisoned American was exonerated for the first time using DNA evidence, a new era began in the criminal justice system. Over ensuing decades,  DNA analysis would expose decades of shoddy police work, sloppy or unethical prosecutors, lying witnesses, and faulty forensic analysis as it freed innocents from living nightmares. The Innocence Project calculates that so far  DNA has exonerated 349 people, who unjustly served a combined total of 4,763 years behind bars––and that 46 percent of those cases involved a misapplication of forensic

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