Law vs. Science

Exclusive Interview with the Hon. Judge Wool:

Appellate Squawk: Judge, I understand you were a prominent member of the National Commission on Forensic Science asking some tough questions about the validity of these cop-created sciences.

Judge Wool: I was, but now I’m back to selling pencils outside the courthouse. Our “make-America-great-again” regime replaced us with a law enforcement outfit headed by a prosecutor. The Justice Department has dissed our work as “efforts in the courtroom and elsewhere to reject reliable and admissible forensic evidence.”

A-S: But how can they ignore the National Academy of Science report, the PCAST report and the Innocence Project’s embarrassing revelations of wrongful convictions caused by forensic so-called science?

Judge Wool: Same way the courts manage to ignore them.  Cops are still testifying to “a reasonable degree of ballistic certainty” that a squashed piece of lead could only have been fired from the defendant’s gun. Or to a reasonable degree of inkpad certainty that a smudgy partial print matches the defendant.  As for those trained seals from the Medical Examiner’s Office babbling about how no one in a bajillion gazillion planets except the defendant has the same 3 alleles as those found on the gun, don’t get me started –

A-S: Are you saying courts don’t understand science?

Judge Wool: They understand that science is the enemy of law. Courts wouldn’t last a day if they were held to the same standards as science.  For example, imagine a clinical test where everybody knew whether they were taking the drug or the placebo.

A-S:  It wouldn’t prove anything. The subjects would be influenced by what they knew.

Judge Wool:  Even if they promised under oath not to be influenced? What if they were experienced testees who could be presumed not to be biased by what they knew?

A-S: Why, that’s just like having the same judge do the trial who did the suppression hearing! Or who knows the defendant’s criminal record.

Judge Wool: Exactly. And what if experimental results were considered final and could never be retested because the first experimenter saw and heard the experiment?

A-S: Well –

Judge Wool: Or because the experimenter was a senior scientist? Or swore on the Bible that the results were accurate?

A-S: Science would still be in the Middle Ages.

Judge Wool: Just like the law.

“Goes to weight, not admissibility.”

h/t to Adina Schwartz, firearms & toolmarks skeptic for “to a reasonable degree of ballistic certainty.”

About Appellate Squawk

A satirical blog for criminal defense lawyers and their friends who won't give up without a squawk.
This entry was posted in Forensic "science", Law & Parody and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Law vs. Science

  1. Alex Bunin says:

    Oh boy! Welcome back hair comparisons, tool marks and teeth bites. I plan to become an expert on crime scene astrology.

    Like

  2. queenmouse says:

    They should definitely rearrange the system – need an unbiased leader of law enforcement = no prosecutors! Not sure where we’d find that but..

    Like

  3. Windypundit says:

    It’s a tricky relationship, science and law. As a coworker of mine said, science is about improving our approximation of the truth, law is about making a decision. You kinda hope those two are related, but…

    Like

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