In another blow to civil liberties and individual constitutional rights, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has decided that his Justice Department doesn’t need independent experts in forensic science working to help the department make sure the tools they use are as reliable as possible. So he’s kicking them out, the New York Times reported.
According to the report:
The Justice Department will not renew the National Commission on Forensic Science, a panel of judges, defense attorneys, researchers and law enforcement officials that had been advising the attorney general on the use of scientific evidence in the criminal justice process.
Sessions will instead appoint an in-house adviser to study improvements to forensic analysis and equipment needs of overburdened crime labs, the Times reported.
“As we decide how to move forward, we bear in mind that the department is just one piece of the larger criminal justice system,” said Sessions in a statement, adding that “most forensic science is done by state and local laboratories and used by local prosecutors.”
The Obama administration formed the commission in 2013 to address wide-ranging concerns about problematic forensic techniques.
In 2015, the Justice Department revealed it was looking at cases in which experts overstated the forensic evidence going back decades.
But Sessions doesn’t care if crime labs are using the best technology, or if people are being wrongly convicted by bad science. Because why would they? Lock ’em up. That’s the Sessions’ philosophy. His focus will be helping prosecutors, whether the tools he’s providing are scientifically valid or not.
What a disgrace!