A national commission created to improve the reliability of forensics has been dealt a possibly fatal blow.
Keith Allen Harward served 33 years in jail after being convicted of rape and murder, largely on the strength of bite mark evidence. He was subsequently found to be innocent on the basis of DNA evidence and released. During his incarceration the actual criminal remained free and committed other crimes. This miscarriage of justice was the result of bad science. Bite mark evidence has been shown to lack any scientific credibility, yet it continues to be used in court. To a public accustomed to watching crimes being solved on television shows, where the results are always pristine and the guilty are always convicted, there is a perception that forensic science is flawless. The reality is that it is not, and we are in danger of halting and even reversing the considerable progress that has been made in improving it.
You can read the full article in Scientific American.