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WIREs Forensic Sci

Wrongful convictions and forensic science

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Abstract More than 2,600 exonerations have been documented in the United States since 1989. Forensic science—in the form of postconviction DNA testing—has played a critical role in the revelation that wrongful convictions are a problematic feature of criminal justice. Yet, forensic science is also among the many factors—including eyewitness misidentification, false confessions, informants, and more—that are correlates of wrongful convictions. Forensic science contributes to erroneous convictions when analysts provide invalid testimony at trial or when such evidence fails to correct false crime theories. Moreover, while intentional forensic misconduct certainly exists, the effects of confirmation biases may present a greater threat to forensic analyses. The preceding mechanisms and reform efforts are discussed. This article is categorized under: Jurisprudence and Regulatory Oversight > Expert Evidence and Narrative

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Jurisprudence and Regulatory Oversight > Expert Evidence and Narrative

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