A Rise in Forensic Scientist’s Salaries?
Posted by Staff Writers on February 7, 2009
Forensic science has meant a new way to look at the criminal justice system. We no longer have to explicitly rely on the testimony of witnesses and law enforcement, but instead have concrete evidence that a certain person was at the crime or that a crime happened in a particular form. However, forensic scientists and the criminal justice process have recently come under fire in a myriad of Supreme Court cases that have ruled if forensic analysts do not appear at trial as witnesses, their evidence cannot be admitted due to the constitutional right of a defendant to confront witnesses.
The process is different in courts around the country, but it remains fairly standard that forensic science analysis has to be thorough for a court to accept it as evidence. Many forensic scientists have been recently called to participate in drug-related charges in order to prove to the court that the substance is illegal contraband. Because of new technology, however, the cost in obtaining this information has gone down and therefore fewer scientists are needed to testify in court. This has resulted in an increasing level of value in the forensic scientists who are needed, resulting in an increase in their salaries.
While the role of forensic scientists in criminal proceedings remains largely unsettled by the majority of states, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, it is clear that the justice system has experienced a complete turnaround since the advancement of these procedures. Forensic science has not only helped many prosecutor’s secure their cases by DNA and scientific evidence, it has also helped release many defendants who had previously been improperly charged for a crime they did not commit. It is amazing to think how we got along without forensic science analysts only a few decades ago. They have become a major part of our criminal justice system, and are involved in cases as minor as personal injury cases stemming from car accidents to major capital murder proceedings. The reason forensic scientists have become so valuable in recent years is due to this broad range of expertise they exhibit to courts and the common knowledge that our criminal justice system would be vastly different without the evidence they bring to trial.
Despite recent constitutional issues regarding forensic science, it continues to be a go-to for many prosecutors and defense attorneys alike, each relying on evidence to prove a different defense.