Members of Congress appeared likely yesterday to allocate money for more research into forensic analysis, reports National Public Radio. Senators at a hearing seemed to support creating national standards for crime labs and forensic analysts, in light of a National Academy of Sciences report that questioned the validity of many long-established forensic techniques.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) called the report “damning” and “terrifying.” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) noted that 1 in 5 labs does not meet accreditation standards set by the National Academy of Crime Lab Directors. “We cannot allow these nationwide deficiencies in forensic sciences to continue,” Leahy said. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) found the conclusions difficult to swallow. “I don’t think we should suggest that those proven scientific principles that we’ve been using for decades are somehow uncertain,” he said.