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.
Chapter 5: Minimizing Contextual Bias in Forensic Casework
Minimizing Contextual Bias in Forensic Casework
Criticism has been raised by several scholars on the subjective nature of expert opinion in forensic casework and the absence of sufficient precautions to reduce the risk of the possible biasing effect of contextual information (e.g., Dror & Cole, 2010; Dror & Rosenthal, 2008; Risinger et al., 2002; Saks et al., 2003). There have also been a number of official inquiries that focused explicitly on this issue. For example, the U.S. National Academy of Science inquiry (NAS, 2009) concluded that
a body of research is required to establish the limits and measures of performance and to address the impact of sources of variability ...