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Retooling Forensics.

To safeguard public safety and protect people’s rights, we need to reform forensics, from the crime scene, to the police agency, to the crime lab, to the courtroom.

Understanding the Problem

Why do we need forensics reform?

Mass forensic errors have occurred all across the county. Moreover, forensics is an essential function of the criminal legal system, which disproportionately harms Black and brown people.

This problem requires urgent action.

Lawyers cannot solve this problem in court, and police and crime labs cannot sufficiently address these problems on their own. Public safety and fairness demand solutions.


A Lab Shutdown

The Department of Forensic Science in Washington, DC was supposed to be a model lab that would change lab work on crime scene evidence for the better.

So what happened?

It is time to organize around reform.

This is a pivotal time for forensics.  The federal rule on expert evidence, Rule 702, was just amended for the first time in over twenty years. The changes emphasize the importance of judges carefully reviewing the reliability of forensic expert evidence. It will be crucial to push these issues.

We believe that forensics reform should be a central part of our public safety agenda.

(1) Independence

Crime labs and forensic evidence collection and analysis should be independent from the police. We need scientists and not “cops in labcoats.”

This means financial and functional independence from the policy.

(2) Accuracy

Only reliable and validated forensic methods should be used and they should be presented to the public, lawyers, and jurors, with words that reflect the inherent uncertainty and limits of any evidence.

(3) Oversight

Accountability matters in policing and government more broadly. While accountability is an expectation for other laboratories, crime labs have been largely immune from regulation or auditing.

We need robust quality programs at all crime labs and forensic evidence providers.

Are faulty forensics practices occurring in your city or county?

We have documented over 130 lab reviews, involving errors or audits at labs across the country.

Organize around reform.

Justice depends on the integrity of forensic science. Learn how you can join the fight to reform forensics practices.