On February 7, 2020, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced NCIP co-sponsored SB 938, which would amend the standards used for evaluating expert testimony and forensics in court pre- and post-conviction. Faulty forensic and scientific evidence, provided by expert witnesses, are the second most common reason that individuals are wrongfully convicted for crimes they did not commit. Today, courts have discretion over which expert testimonies are admissible. Studies show that courts accept most forensic science and expert testimony without sufficient scrutiny, leaving significant room for imprecision and human error. This error leads to the high rate of false convictions. Expert testimony that fails to rely on sound logic should not be considered expert testimony at all.
To read SB 938, as introduced, click here.
To read Sentator Wiener's press release about the introduction of the legislation, click here.