Old precedents too often overrule new forensic science insights, judge says

Senior U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, in an interview with Inside Science, discussed how the justice system uses forensic science in cases.
3:53 | 02/25/19

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Transcript for Old precedents too often overrule new forensic science insights, judge says
Forensic science continues to be routinely. Admitted by the courts boost state and federal even. Considerable. Belts. Have now been raised this to win their forensic science really is science at all. And whether industry viable and now it. Inside sigh Aurora. Jan ray copies a United States district judge. As part of the national commission on forensic science he contributed to a 2016. Report noting some serious flaws in the way the justice system uses forensic science he says that times have changed sciences changed but some judges are changing as scientific understanding advances. With the very few exceptions well established as a science but the other extreme things like bite mark. Analysis. And a hair testing analysis. Helping Cole severely into question and there are rates appear to be quite hot in 1993. The federal law was changed and this was because the Supreme Court was concerned too much so cold chunks science. Was entering into the courtroom and centuries would not be able to evaluated from their own experience. When judges allow that forensic science to enter the court he can contribute to convicting the wrong person there were forensic experts who testified. And testified strongly that the defendant was guilty as shown by science. And how can a jury disregard. At what science proves yet they were wrong flat on so innocent people are convicted. Fingerprinting signs has improved in the last twenty years is rake off but many other areas of forensic science including bite mark analysis tool marks ballistics and arson analysis are less accurate than many people realize that you. Notion that anything it science is so. Perfect but someone who testified that they were absolutely sure. That became of that person. That's not science at all. That's someone acting in my if you unsigned. Soup is it all a judge's fault that imperfect science is getting into the courtroom. I think its fares in the judge's all the time confront areas that they are not familiar with. In patent cases. Complicated international commercial disputes and so forth. But they educate themselves again up to speed they are as they say quick studies pan. So I don't think it's the churches are intimidated. By the fact that this is science. Scientists might be able to help as research reveals new information they can help the courts in evaluating. The scientists. Are in a very good position us. This is good sciences has been science and this is unknown we're not sure and I think the courts. Very receptive to more input from scientific stations but I think the main theories. Light show Jews. Are allowing forensic science they are too much influenced by old precedents. Old guidelines that judges use have the potential to change with their decisions. And rate costs it is more training get help judges and the justice system be more fair. I think both for the never reason that we don't want to convict innocent people. And the broader reason we want to have a system that we can have confidence in its important change here. This is inside science. Inside so I. You in doing this. Follows on the planet social media. Howard guy yeah. It is the collision is under an.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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