New attacks on our judiciary system - Sessions pulls plug on "National Commission on Forensic Science"

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/4/24/1655973/-Jeff-Sessions-wants-to-make-forensic-evidence-in-court-completely-useless-and-invalid Jeff Sessions wants to make forensic evidence in court completely useless and invalid By Kelly Macias April 24, 2017 ... In late April, under the Trump administration, the charter for the National Commission on Forensic Science was not renewed. This means that the independent commission group of researchers, lawyers, judges, crime lab technicians, scientists and law enforcement officers who worked on trying to reform the field of forensic science and expert testimony are no longer at work. The message: important things like trying to promote scientific validity and improving federal coordination of forensic science are a waste of time and resources in the Trump era. ...
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Q&A: The U.S. Department of Justice scrapped independent forensics panel, but the scientific questions ‘are not going away’ By Kelly Servick. \ Apr. 14, 2017 http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/04/qa-us-department-justice-scrapped-independent-forensics-panel-scientific-questions-are Last week, Casadevall and five other scientific members of the commission wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and acting National Institute of Standards and Technology Director Kent Rochford asking them to renew the group’s charter, set to run out 23 April. Instead, Sessions and DOJ announced on Monday that the charter would be allowed to expire, and he requested proposals for a new advisory committee or an office within DOJ that would advance forensic science—a move many fear will exclude mainstream scientific views from future policy decisions.
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3549346/Scientists-on-national-commission-urge-panel-be.pdf Dear Attorney General Sessions and Acting Director Rochford: As Commissioners who were appointed because of our contributions to the basic sciences – biology, psychology, chemistry and physics – we would like to thank the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for establishing the National Commission on Forensic Science (NCFS). This landmark advisory body represents the first time the Federal government has convened the full complement of forensic science stakeholders to work together with independent academic scientists to “enhance the practice and improve the reliability of forensic science."1 We are gratified that in the development of the Commission, the DOJ and NIST acknowledged the role scientists from a variety of disciplines play in strengthening forensic science. We believe this Commission has made a positive and indelible impact on the criminal justice system and we encourage you to renew the charter for the National Commission on Forensic Science. Historically, the community associated with forensic science was limited to criminal justice participants, sometimes at the expense of foundational science. Many forensic science disciplines have not fully benefitted from the resources and lessons gained by researchers in contributing fields. Our expertise has offered a new dimension to forensic science policy development that is evident in the work that has come through all the subcommittees of the Commission, and in particular, the Scientific Inquiry & Research and Human Factors Subcommittees. For example, the Commission recommended that henceforth NIST be tasked with evaluation of the technical merit of forensic science methods and practice to improve the quality of forensic evidence used in the courtroom, and expressed the view that to reduce cognitive bias forensic analyses must be restricted to task relevant information. We have been buoyed by the DOJ’s and NIST’s support of, and response to, our efforts. For too long, decisions regarding forensic science have been made without the input of the research science community. The disconnection between the fundamental principles of science and some forensic disciplines is one of the primary themes of the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report2 and the 2016 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report.3 Limiting the “relevant scientific community" to forensic practitioners is a disservice to that field and to the criminal justice system. The inclusion of an array of research scientists is necessary to further improve the foundation and practice of forensic science and to the justice system. Forensic science as an academic discipline is very young, and we are committed to guiding and cultivating a robust research culture. We hope you will provide us with the opportunity to continue to engage in this critical effort to strengthen forensic science and the criminal justice system. This Commission has demonstrated that the diverse stakeholders in the criminal justice and forensic science systems can work together to advance forensic science. Together, the Commission has made recommendations and opined on foundational scientific issues, operational issues to improve quality assurance and quality control, as well as infrastructure and capacity issues. Most importantly, the Commission has facilitated an important discussion regarding issues at the intersection of science and law that are unique to forensics and require the full diversity of the Commission’s members to solve. Many of the issues the Commission has taken on would have been examined in only a narrow or cursory manner, or in some cases would not have been debated at all, had we not been able to participate in this work. This Commission’s existence is an indispensable way for the DOJ to communicate its commitment to high quality and rigorous forensic science. The Commission will issue a report at its closing April meeting that describes the foundational, operational, and relational issues that have been addressed through the various work products, and the issues that remain to be considered. This significant report will not receive the broad stakeholder and public review it deserves should the Commission end its operations on April 11, 2017. We believe that the Commission’s charter must be renewed for the forensic science community to realize the benefits of the work that has been initiated, but will be left incomplete, should the Commission be allowed to end. Respectfully submitted, ...

Does anyone expect better from Jefferson Beauregard Sessions the Thoid. He is what he is and always has been sine the Senate refused to back him for a judgeship in the 80"s. President Trump may know he is at best a bigot but I doubt our President even cares. Given half a chance he will bring Alabama 1950’s justice system to Washington.