Justice Department Announces New Plan to Induce Transparency, Professionalism in its Forensics Department

Cinnaminson, NJ-  In efforts to increase transparency and reduce evidence mistreatment, the Department of Justice has announced its plans to ensure the furthering of “professional responsibility” among its forensic practitioners.

The DOJ announcement:

 

Justice Department Announces New Steps to Advance and Strengthen Forensic Science

Changes Include New Code of Professional Responsibility for Practice of Forensic Science

The Department of Justice announced new steps today as part of its ongoing commitment to strengthening and advancing forensic science.  The department will implement a number of steps that will promote professional responsibility among forensics practitioners, institute best practices and advance the relationship between the academic research of forensic science and implementation in the field.

“Today’s announcement marks yet another step forward in the department’s efforts to strengthen the practice of forensic science in our nation’s laboratories and courtrooms,” said Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates.  “We are continually looking at ways to ensure that forensic evidence is collected, analyzed and presented in a responsible and scientifically rigorous manner.”

The new policies include adopting a new code of professional responsibility that builds upon existing policies and accreditation requirements for departmental forensic examiners and laboratories. The department believes the code will improve education and guidance on professional responsibility while establishing a process for identifying and addressing violations of professional conduct.

Department forensic laboratories will also review their policies and procedures to ensure that forensic examiners are not using the expressions “reasonable scientific certainty” or “reasonable (forensic discipline) certainty” in their reports or testimony.  Department prosecutors will also abstain from using these expressions when presenting forensic reports or questioning forensic experts in court unless required by a judge or applicable law.  This decision complements the department’s efforts, announced earlier this year, to provide better guidance to forensic examiners and federal prosecutors on how to properly characterize the strength of forensic evidence in the courtroom.

The department also announced policies to implement greater transparency and access to forensic laboratory quality assurance documents and a plan to explore a grant funding of multiyear post-doctoral fellowships at federal, state and local forensic science service providers and forensic medicine service providers.

The new policies arose out of recommendations made by the National Commission of Forensic Science, which was established to advance the field of forensic science and make suggestions to the Attorney General on how to ensure that reliable and scientifically valid evidence is used when solving crimes.  The Attorney General’s decision to implement several of the commission’s recommendations was announced at a meeting of the commission today.  A memo was also sent to all department component heads directing the implementation of the recommendations.  Additional information on the department’s ongoing work to strengthen forensic science can be found at www.justice.gov/forensics.

 

FormerFeds LLC

The members of the FormerFedsGroup have unparalleled expertise in the areas of US government fraud and other white collar crime investigations and prosecutions. Our professional staff have over 20 years of federal law enforcement service, and we are able to bring this wealth of practical experience and insights to deploy on behalf of our clients. If you are concerned that your organization may be in the government’s crosshairs, a call to the FomerFedsGroup is always the right move. We will discuss your situation in complete confidence, and provide you with our honest opinion as to whether or not we can be of service. As we are not a law firm, we cannot provide legal advice, but we are very comfortable working with your inside or outside counsel, if that is what the situation calls for. Whether you are just bolstering your compliance systems, or preparing for a government investigation, it’s always a good idea to have Former Feds in your corner. Surrounding yourself with FormerFeds Who Share Your Mission is only one phone call away +1 (888) 486 (FEDS).

Address

FormerFeds LLC
141 I Route 130 South
Suite 303
Cinnaminson, NJ 08077
Phone: (888) 486-FEDS
Website: http://formerfedsgroup.com
Email: info@formerfedsgroup.com

Disclaimer

Important: FormerFeds, LLC is not a law firm. We do not provide legal advice. Our PerfectShield™ compliance solution should always be administered with the advice and under the guidance of legal counsel. Read more