Volume 34, Issue 3 (May 1989)
Symposium: Ethical Conflicts in the Forensic Sciences Introduction
Throughout the history of the forensic sciences, its members have shown a particular concern for the attainment of high professional and ethical standards. Forensic scientists are expected to be honest with respect to their qualifications, examinations, and conclusions; they should be technically competent and only use methods of proven reliability; they should remain totally objective and nonpartisan with respect to their review of evidence and delivery of expert testimony; and they are expected to present understandable and balanced reports/testimony to legal decision makers. However, the reality is that forensic scientists function within an adversarial system of justice that places a high premium on winning cases. They, too, sometimes find themselves employed by units of the legal system that fail to provide the leadership and resources necessary to insure competent and balanced examinations of evidence.