Roger Koppl writes in Forbes on the surprisingly low accuracy of crime labs. Some scary stuff in there.
BTW here is my comment on the MR post from which I stole this link:
I loved the article, but I think Koppl doesn't push it far enough when he says the problem is monopoly, and therefore we need the government to require multiple tests, etc. That's like saying the problem with oil prices is OPEC, and that's why we need to ask Saudi Arabia to pump more.
Case in point: Koppl discusses a guy who was wrongly convicted of rape and held for four years. His compensation? $118,000. If those are the penalties the government faces for mistakes, no wonder they are so sloppy. In a voluntary system where people could patronize different legal frameworks (and yes we can argue about how/whether that would work), I think the fines might be such that the agencies that survived the competition fixed the leaky roofs over their crime labs.
Holy cow! I see now that someone responded to this brilliant comment, and actually called it "stupid." !!!! Out of the way, lads, I must fly!