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February 15, 2019

Chairwoman Johnson’s Statement on Ten-Year Anniversary of Release of National Academies Forensics Study

(Washington, DC) – Nearly ten years ago, on February 18, 2009, the National Academies released a groundbreaking study, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, which sent shockwaves through the legal, scientific, and policymaking communities.

The report found that all over the nation interpretation of forensic evidence was routinely and severely compromised by a lack of supporting science and standards. The report examined the common forensic science disciplines and found that “with the exception of nuclear DNA analysis…no forensic method has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source.”

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) statement is below.

“While much in the forensics science space has improved in the past ten years, there is still plenty of room for improvement. We have taken steps forward, and, unfortunately, some steps back—particularly the Trump Administration’s disbanding of the nonpartisan National Commission on Forensic Science.

“As Chairwoman of the Science Committee, I am committed to promoting the best scientific practices in forensics and having our Committee do its part in furthering sound forensic science. The legal, scientific, and policymaking communities must all work to ensure that our Nation has a court system that metes out justice with accuracy, transparency, and accountability.”