Dean Mnookin Talks Forensic Evidence in the Courtroom with The National Geographic

Jennifer Mnookin, dean of UCLA School of Law, was quoted in a National Geographic article discussing the problem of judges who neglect to require that forensic evidence be vetted against a scientific error rate, which has yet to be established, upon consideration of that evidence. This leads judges to admit questionable forensic evidence in the courtroom, such as hair and bite-mark analyses, which have been proven far less reliable than other types of analyses, such as DNA phenotyping.

“Judges haven’t actually taken seriously the need to establish validity, to have a known error rate,” Dean Mnookin says. “The judiciary has largely punted on this.” 

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