Uniting forensics, law, and social science in meaningful and relevant ways, Forensic Science and the Administration of Justice is structured around current research on how forensic evidence is being used and how it is impacting the justice system. This unique book—written by nationally known scholars in the field—includes five sections that explore the demand for forensic services, the quality of forensic services, the utility of forensic services, post-conviction forensic issues, and the future role of forensic science in the administration of justice. The authors offer policy-relevant directions for both the criminal justice and forensic fields and demonstrate how the role of the crime laboratory in the American justice system is evolving in concert with technological advances as well as changing demands and competing pressures for laboratory resources.

What We Know (and Don't Know) About Evidence Backlogs

What we know (and don't know) about evidence backlogs
Matthew J.Hickman and Kevin J.Strom

Introduction

It is widely accepted that forensic evidence can play an important role in convicting the guilty, exonerating the innocent, and ensuring that justice is served. But when backlogs prevent the timely processing of evidence and reporting of analytic results, concerns emerge about how such problems might translate to systemic impacts on due process rights of the accused (i.e., “justice delayed”), as well as victim rights in the case of evidence that goes unanalyzed (i.e., “justice denied”). These are very real concerns in a democratic system of justice.

The forensic community has experienced tremendous growth along with its share of growing pains and challenges over the ...

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