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The Supreme Court says: Forensic evidence is not immune from manipulation and has problems of subjectivity, bias and unreliability

Lawyers for the prosecution even argued there is a difference between "normal" testimony which was "prone to distortion or manipulation" and testimony regarding "the result of neutral, scientific testing."  The Supreme Court must have been offended by this notion, as a fair amount of time was spent laying out all the reasons it was a baseless argument.  Initially, the high Court responded by saying that this argument was just an invitation to return to the Roberts rule and have the court assess the trustworthiness of a piece of evidence, rather than affording the judge or jury the opportunity to evaluate the trustworthiness of the witness by insisting the witness be present and subject to cross-examination.   The Court refused to do so and went to great lengths to discuss how forensic evidence is not immune from manipulation.  The Court pointed out that most forensic labs are administered by law enforcement agencies, and stated analysts may feel pressure to sacrifice appropriate methodology for the sake of expediency, or an incentive to alter evidence in a manner favorable to the prosecution, and recognized confrontation is one way to assure accuracy of forensic evidence.  The Court noted some analysts will simply lie and misrepresent facts.  In addition to the problem of fraud, the Court discussed the problem of incompetence and said there is a need to be able to cross-examine analysts about the tests which were performed, whether they were routine, the methodology used, and whether interpreting the results required the analyst to use his/her judgment.  The Court discussed problems of subjectivity, bias and unreliability of common forensic tests and said confrontation is required to test honesty, proficiency and methodology used with forensic analysis.

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