The responsible use and scrutiny of science in the courtroom is central to a fair trial. But revelations about junk science, professional misconduct and dubious laboratory practices continue to raise concerns for the administration of justice. The critical role of defense attorneys with regard to forensic evidence is a key component of a fair trial, but complicated by unclear constitutional standards. Thus, a well-defined forensic due process is necessary to help navigate the hazardous shoals where law and science meet.
Albert Einstein said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Many forensic practices received their stamp of approval before the advent of Daubert and under the general acceptance standard of Frye. The key flaw in many convictions has been an uncritical and overeager acceptance of the conclusions of forensic science without a full and fair opportunity to test that evidence.1
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