Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sessions dumps National Commission on Forensic Science

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions will not renew the National Commission on Forensic   Science (NCFS), according to a statement, reported Juris. The NCFS is a 30-member group of scientists, academics, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges originally commissioned in 2013 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) during President Obama's administration. 
The commission had responsibility for developing guidance concerning the intersections between forensic science and the courtroom and developing policy recommendations, including uniform codes for professional responsibility and requirements for training and certification. 
As the use of bite-mark analysis, hair and fiber sample analysis and even fingerprint analysis have been called into question, the NCFS was charged with standardizing national guidance for forensic science practitioners. Additionally, NCFS was to develop methods for forensic measurements and validate select existing forensic science standards.
The commission is set to expire April 23, and continued efforts to "advance forensic science and combat violent crime" will be handled by the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, a committee established by executive order under President Trump. Sessions commended the efforts of the NCFS in his statement.

As we decide how to move forward, we bear in mind that the Department is just one piece of the larger criminal justice system and that the vast majority of forensic science is practiced by state and local forensic laboratories and is used by state and local prosecutors. We applaud the professionalism of the National Commission on Forensic Science and look forward to building on the contributions it has made in this crucial field.

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