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Courts have long accepted expert opinions from forensic scientists to help address questions of law. Forensic science can also contribute to police investigations and humanitarian action. However, the potential also exists for forensic science to be used in ways that have negative impacts, disproportionately affect members of marginalized groups and amplify social inequality. This entry argues that forensic science must be understood in the broader context of justice systems and social processes. It provides an overview of the use of forensic science in criminal justice before exploring areas of increasing forensic potential and important ethical concerns. The entry then discusses the implication of forensic science in the wrongful convictions of innocent persons and examines key themes in critiques of forensic science and its use in the criminal justice sphere. The entry concludes that addressing these complex issues requires informed debate and is a shared responsibility among policy makers, forensic scientists and legal practitioners.
Publication titleElgar encyclopedia of crime and criminal justice
EditorsP Caeiro, S Gless, V Mitsilegas
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing