Many of our readers in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin have likely seen crime-tinged movies and television dramas -- in fact, scores of them -- where an individual steps up to save the day for state or federal prosecutors by confidently pointing out the guilty party from the witness stand.
One of the things courts value most is finality. Once a dispute has been resolved, courts are loath to start digging into the process of resolving the dispute -- and this has traditionally led to some pernicious consequences, even without ill intent.
Suppose you were wrongfully convicted of a crime, and as part of your conviction you were required to pay court costs and restitution to your alleged victim. Once your wrongful conviction was overturned, you should get that money back, shouldn't you?
There is no debating that forensic science plays an important role in the criminal justice system. One assumes there also would be little debate over the position that, when forensic science is used to convict people of crimes in the United States, that science should be precise and believable.
You may not know the Reid Method of police interrogation by name, but there is a good chance you are familiar with it through the depiction of police questioning in movies and on television.