September 24, 2020

Senate Resolution Designates Forensic Science Week

Acknowledges role of forensic science in serving justice for victims, exonerating innocent

Washington, D.C.--The U.S. Senate unanimously agreed to a Senate Resolution designating September 20-26, 2020, as National Forensic Science Week.  The Resolution, introduced by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), along with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), would recognize the role forensic science plays in the investigation, prosecution and conviction of crimes, as well as exoneration of the innocent. 

“Forensic scientists across the country not only play a critical role in investigating crimes to help bring justice for victims, but also in helping to identify key information necessary for exonerating the falsely accused,” said Crapo.  “The Senate’s unanimous support of this resolution signals to these professionals that their contributions to the criminal justice system are vital to ensuring an efficient and effective system that minimizes errors.” 

Read the full text of the resolution HERE and below. 

Whereas the Senate is committed to the use of forensic science in the investigation of crimes, the prosecution and conviction of the correct perpetrators of crimes, and the exoneration of innocent individuals falsely accused of crimes in the United States; 

Whereas forensic science service providers address critical questions in civil and criminal investigations and trials in the United States, including by providing scientific con-clusions relating to forensic evidence; 

Whereas forensic science service providers partner with—

(1)    Federal agencies to build and maintain criminal databases relating to latent prints, DNA, and other information relevant to criminal cases; and

(2)    Federal, State, and local agencies to ensure public safety; 

Whereas forensic science service providers serve a vital role in the criminal justice system by providing scientific in- formation to investigators and officers of the court; and 

Whereas the fourth week in September 2020 is recognized as ‘‘National Forensic Science Week’’: Now, therefore, be it 

Resolved, That the Senate— 

(1) supports the goals and ideals of National Forensic Science Week; and

(2) recognizes that National Forensic Science Week provides a special opportunity for—

(A) forensic science service providers to—

(i) acknowledge the contributions of forensic scientists in the laboratories in which those individuals work;

(ii) organize community events to encourage a better understanding of  forensic science;

(iii) provide tours to Federal, State, and local policymakers to assist those individuals in gaining better insight into the current capabilities of forensic science service providers and the future demands that forensic science service providers will face; and

(iv) contact local media outlets and invite those groups to cover events hosted during National Forensic Science Week;

(B) local policymakers to—

(i) recognize, through formal commendation or resolution, the contributions of local forensic science laboratories to the communities of those  policymakers;

(ii) formally declare the fourth week of September 2020 to be ‘‘National Forensic Science Week’’ by proclamation;

(iii) visit local forensic science laboratories to gain an understanding of the capabilities and needs of those laboratories; and

(iv) discuss the operational needs of State and local forensic science laboratories;

(C) individuals in the United States, including members of the media, to—

(i) attend community events sponsored by local forensic science laboratories;

(ii) take tours of local forensic science laboratories; and

(iii) ask local forensic science laboratories about the operational and legislative needs of those laboratories;

(D) members of the media to highlight local news stories that focus on the work of local forensic science laboratories in the communities that those laboratories serve; and

(E) public safety officers, law enforcement officers, and officers of the court to—

(i) attend community events sponsored by local forensic science laboratories;

(ii) take tours of local forensic science laboratories;

(iii) discuss the operational needs of State and local forensic science laboratories; and

(iv) engage with local forensic science laboratories about working together more effectively.

 

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