How the justice system ignores science in the pursuit of convictions

Across the country, forensic techniques found tenuous by independent researchers representing a variety of specialties — including linking indentations found on a victim’s body to a suspect’s teeth — are still being used as evidence to convict people, and that, critics say, can lead to wrongful convictions, according to an NBC report.

The National Registry of Exonerations, housed at the UCI Newkirk Center for Science and Society, the report cited, has documented 553 cases since 1989 in which someone was convicted on false or misleading forensic evidence and later cleared. The growing list of exonerations includes a Texas man whose 1987 murder conviction, based on bite-mark evidence, was thrown out in December, and an Illinois man declared innocent in January in the retrial of a murder case that hinged on dubious ballistics evidence.

Read the report