NATIONAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION
Date: April 10, 2017
National District Attorneys Association Applauds Expiration of National Commission on Forensic Science
ARLINGTON, Virginia – The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA)
supports the announcement this morning by United States Attorney General
Jeff Sessions that he will not renew the charter for the National
Commission on Forensic Science, allowing the Commission to officially
expire. NDAA also appreciates the creation of a Subcommittee on
Forensics as part of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Crime
Reduction and Public Safety.
The Commission lacked adequate representation from the state and local
practitioner community, was dominated by the defense community,
and failed to produce work products of significance for the forensic
science community. Very few of the recommendations from the Commission
were adopted and signed by the previous Attorney General during its
existence. Those that were signed, such as universal accreditation, had
already begun to develop organically within the forensic science
community as accepted best practices, thus replicating ongoing work and
wasting taxpayer dollars.
Now more than ever, an Office of Forensic Science (OFS) under the
Department of Justice (DOJ), and in consultation with the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), should be created. DOJ
has a vested interest in maintaining the overall integrity of the
criminal justice system while NIST has a role in the innovation of
“An Office of Forensic Science will ensure forensic science progresses
in the courtroom to not only aid in the prosecution of the guilty, but
exonerate the innocent,” said NDAA President Michael Ramos.
We can no longer afford to sit back and wait for the advancement and
support of forensic science. An OFS needs to happen now to guarantee
its effective future in the criminal justice system. NDAA agrees with
the Attorney General that the majority of forensic science in the field
is conducted by state and local crime labs, and then used by state and
local prosecutors in the courtroom. That reality must be a central focus
as we advance forensic science in the field.
The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), www.ndaa.org, is the
oldest and largest prosecutor organization in the country, representing
2,500 elected and appointed District Attorneys across the United States,
as well as 40,000 Assistant District Attorneys.
Contact: Nelson Bunn, Director of Policy and Governmental Affairs, National District Attorneys