Saturday, February 20, 2010: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Room 7B (San Diego Convention Center)In 2004, Congress commissioned the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to undertake a long-awaited study to examine thoroughly and comprehensively the fundamental underpinnings of forensic scientific evidence and its applications in our criminal justice system under the Justice for All Act of 2004. A blue-ribbon committee, comprising scientists, academics, a retired federal judge, and other notables, convened in 2007 to study the forensic sciences. The NAS released its report "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward" on February 18, 2009. Its findings were staggering: “The forensic science system, encompassing both research and practice, has serious problems that can only be addressed by a national commitment to overhaul the current structure that supports the forensic science community in this country.” In addition to addressing the key findings of the report, this session will provide a historical background of the forensic sciences and discuss the present issues in the field, court-based state-level solutions, and the role of the scientific community in federal legislative solutions.
Sarah P. Chu, Innocence Project