Twenty states now have Sexual Violent Predator laws, which allow civil commitment of offenders who are considered likely to continue as sexual predators. But how reliable are the forensic mental health experts making the judgments of risk?
How is it that our courts have for decades now allowed the use of bad science to put citizens in prison -- or even to send them to their deaths? Why is it that junk science can so easily slip into the courtroom during a criminal trial?
It shouldn't be up for debate that the experts who are allowed to testify in Shaken Baby Syndrome cases must be qualified, accredited and meet a minimum set of standards with respect to their practices, methods and professionalism.
Why didn't anyone tell Gates over a decade before that the hair analysis in his case was all wrong? In fact, the hair testimony was scientifically unsound. There is no research on how common microscopic hair characteristics are. Hair is not like DNA or even a fingerprint.
A man died recently that I want you to know about. In his own very unique way he developed an expertise that helped bring justice to those who would otherwise never get it. His name was Frank Bender and he was the best known of a rare breed of forensic sculptors.