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  1. #1
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    Exclamation U.S. judge quits commission to protest Justice Department forensic science policy

    I just came across this article and found it so very interesting.
    I have always questioned the relationship between LE and the Forensics community.
    In my humble opinion, the Forensics community should not have any kind of restraints put upon them from any agency.
    Let the facts show what they show.
    We have seen too many cases go up in smoke, or too many innocent ones go to prison only to be found later innocent due to misconduct.

    What do you say?

    U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff of New York said he quit because the Justice Department had barred it from recommending an expansion of the exchange of pre-trial information to include more evidence from forensic experts.


    The proposed change would address a major criticism of the nationís top scientific organization and many legal experts, who have warned in recent years that police and prosecutors exercise too much control over crime labs, which suffer from weak standards over research, testimony and examinations. The failings that have led to dozens of lab scandals and hundreds of exonerations over the past two decades.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...3b2_story.html

  2. #2
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    Federal Judge resigns from National Commission on Forensic Science
    http://www.thetruthaboutforensicscie...ensic-science/

    We have obtained the text of his resignation. It sure doesn’t paint a very good picture of the efforts to date.
    Portion of Letter:

    Dear Fellow Commissioners:

    Last evening, January 27, 2015, I was telephonically informed that the Deputy Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice has decided that the subject of pre-trial forensic discovery — i.e., the extent to which information regarding forensic science experts and their data, opinions, methodologies, etc., should be disclosed before they testify in court — is beyond the “scope” of the Commission’s business and therefore cannot properly be the subject of Commission reports or discussions in any respect.
    Just a little more from the article:

    In a statement, Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce said, “While the department is disappointed in Judge Rakoff’s decision, this was a basic disagreement about the scope of the commission’s work.”

    A department official said its experts found that many of the commission’s proposals were covered by existing rules and guidelines, and encouraged the panel to keep working on evidence retention policies and transparency.

  3. #3
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    Federal Judge Quits Panel Over Proposed Evidence Rules
    Calls Decision to Limit Trials’ Discovery Phase ‘Unsupportable’

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/federal-...les-1422543214


    “If an adversary does not know in advance sufficient information about the forensic expert and the methodological and evidentiary bases for that expert’s opinions, the testimony of the expert is nothing more than trial by ambush,’’ Judge Rakoff argued in the letter to colleagues.

    “Does the department have to be reminded of the many cases of grossly inaccurate forensic testimony that led to the creation of the Commission?” Judge Rakoff wrote.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2014
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    Very brave for him to take this stand. I hope it does some good. I am sure he worshiped for the same.
    "If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it."
    - John Irving in A Prayer for Owen Meany

    Unless I provide a link or refer to a specific link, all my ramblings are theories, speculation, scenarios based on what info is available and my own unique life experiences.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Very interesting. Thank you for posting Lyric... off to read, but I agree with all you've said.

    In my humble opinion, the Forensics community should not have any kind of restraints put upon them from any agency.
    It does not seem like a fair an unbiased process the way it is.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Judge Rakoff returns to forensic panel after Justice Department backs off decision

    Reading more, it seems he has rejoined the panel after DOJ backed down!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...3b2_story.html

    A federal judge Friday returned to a presidential commission on forensic science after the U.S. Justice Department reversed a decision to bar the panel from discussing changes that would give criminal defendants more information about forensic evidence before their trials, a federal official said.

    U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Southern District of New York had resigned in protest Wednesday from the Obama administration panel, accusing the department of placing “strategic advantage [for prosecutors] over a search for the truth.”

    ....Prosecutors routinely share evidence with defense lawyers, but Rakoff and other commissioners propose that criminal defendants be allowed the same access before trial to government forensic evidence as defendants in federal civil court cases.
    In an e-mail to colleagues, Rakoff wrote that it is only through disclosure of scientific results and methods “that forensic science can be meaningfully scrutinized in any specific case” and that “trial by ambush” can be avoided.

    The panel began work last year in response to growing criticism by scientists and many legal experts about the quality of forensic evidence used in criminal cases. Citing lab scandals and exonerations, critics have said that police and prosecutors exercise too much control over crime labs, which suffer from weak standards over research, testimony and examinations.



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