US Justice Dept. to Develop Standards for Forensic Testimony

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — The U.S. Department of Justice may soon dictate what forensic experts can and cannot say in court.

The DOJ announced plans on Aug. 7 to issue federal standards on what information forensic experts can share in court as well as create a program to monitor the accuracy of forensic testimony.

The department first raised the issue in 2015, following revelations that FBI hair examiners had overstated the strength of their evidence in cases spanning back decades.

On Monday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stressed that while forensic evidence is “extremely important,” it can also be “abused and misused.”

He said that the new guidance, called the Uniform Language for Testimony and Reports, will ensure testimony given by federal forensic examiners is “consistent with sound scientific principles and just outcomes.”