Justice Dept. to expand review of FBI forensic techniques in pattern based evidence

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced that the Justice Department will go further than reviewing forensic testimony in only hair analysis cases. The expanded class of cases will cover pattern-based evidence such as tracing the impressions that guns leave on bullets, shoe treads, fibers, soil and other crime-scene evidence.

Sally Yates clarified that the review of these cases would not be motivated by concerns about testimony in these disciplines, but rather as “good operating procedure.” This announcement comes following general concern about the degree to certainty forensic exerts expresss; “examiners had long claimed to be able to match pattern evidence to a source with ‘absolute’ or ‘scientific certainty,’ only DNA analysis had been validated through statistical research.”

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