Eric John, writing for the University of Nottingham’s Impact, asks how far can forensic evidence be trusted:
Forensic science has come a long way since the days of Stephen Lawrence, the mystery of whose savage, racist murder in 1993 only reached a conclusion this week. It now enjoys much higher standards of evidence handling and more sensitive technology, and these advances have evidently played major roles in bringing about the convictions of several high-profile criminals.
Still, as with all things scientific, the reliability of forensic technology has always been in question.
In the case of Stephen Lawrence, Gary Dobson and David Norris were sent to jail on the basis of evidence which, the defence argued, could have been the result of contaminations during evidence storing. The findings that damned Dobson and Norris involved fibres from Lawrence’s clothes on Dobson’s jacket and Norris’ sweater, but perhaps more importantly, hair on Norris’ corduroy trousers and a 0.25mm by 0.5mm bloodstain on the collar of Dobson’s jacket — all of which were genetically matched to the deceased.
Full article here.