A joint investigation with ProPublica

The Real CSI

April 17, 2012

How reliable is the science behind forensics?

(53:41) FRONTLINE investigates the flaws in some of the best-known tools of forensic science.
THE LATEST

Shake-Up Inside Forensic Credentialing Organization

ACFEI, which FRONTLINE reported on in “The Real CSI,” has quietly put its accounting division up for sale, prompting the mass resignation of an advisory board.

Can Juries Rely on Forensic Experts?

A new study says forensic psychologists tend to slant their testimony based on who pays them.

Mississippi Doctor’s Autopsies at Center of Wrongful Conviction Filings

Four petitions have been filed arguing that the testimony of Mississippi forensic pathologist Dr. Steven Hayne led to wrongful convictions.

Forensic Credentialing Org Responds to “The Real CSI”

FRONTLINE’s recent film The Real CSI included an examination of forensic credentialing and, in particular, the American College of Forensic … Continue reading

Live Chat 1 p.m. ET: Uncovering “The Real CSI”

Join “The Real CSI” correspondent Lowell Bergman and producer Andres Cediel for a live chat on 4/19 at 1 p.m. ET featuring guest questioner Jeffrey Toobin from The New Yorker. You can leave a question now.

Discarded Doll: A Photo Essay of the Caylee Anthony Memorial Site

Haunting images taken in the process of reporting FRONTLINE’s The Real CSI.

Dr. Cyril Wecht: The Benefits of Forensic Credentialing

Wecht, a spokesman for one of America’s largest credentialing organizations, defends the company against claims that it’s a diploma mill. He says the purpose of ACFEI is education and that merely having a certificate doesn’t qualify a person to be a forensic expert on the witness stand.

Judge Harry T. Edwards: How Reliable is Forensic Evidence in Court?

It can vary, says Judge Harry T. Edwards, a primary author of a landmark 2009 National Academy of Sciences report on the state of forensics. And it’s this variability that’s a problem at trial: “In an adversarial system, your interest is in prevailing. So you’re not looking to make it easier for the other side. You’re not going to find scientific truth in the adversarial process.”

Can Unconscious Bias Undermine Fingerprint Analysis?

In 2004, cognitive neoroscientist Itiel Dror set out to examine whether the process of fingerprint analysis, long considered one of the most reliable forms of forensic science, can be biased by the knowledge examiners have when they attempt to find a match for prints from a crime scene. …

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