Unfortunately, we were not surprised by The Post’s July 30 front-page article “Review finds two decades of forensic errors by FBI.” In 2009, the National Research Council reported that a number of forensic disciplines “have yet to establish either the validity of their approach or the accuracy of their conclusions.” As The Post reported, unscientific forensic practices have been used to send people to prison and, in some cases, death row. Wrongful convictions have marred the reputation of our justice system and allowed dangerous criminals to go free.
Justice demands that the evidence used in criminal cases be based on sound science. That is why we introduced the Forensic Science and Standards Act in the House and Senate. This legislation would strengthen forensic science and standards, yielding evidence and processes that judges, prosecutors, defendants and juries could fully trust. While the Obama administration has already started to act, the article highlighted why Congress must follow suit and, we hope, provided the impetus for action.
Jay Rockefeller and Eddie Bernice Johnson, Washington
The writers, both Democrats, are, respectively, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce,
Science and Transportation and the ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space and