CSI lies

I’m hugely busy and I note that James still has’t published anything beyond his salad, so I’m just going to share this article I read in the Grauniad last night on “CSI Oxford” – or rather LGC Forensics, the private company who deal with the science side of many of the high profile criminal cases in the UK.

It was part of this paragraph that I particularly enjoyed:

We’re in a long – a very long – corridor. The overriding theme, colour-wise, is blue. Clean enough to be a hospital, except nothing is worn or in need of repair; all is pristine. Either side, set after set of swing doors. Security keypads.
On the doors, bright red and yellow notices: No Entry for Unauthorised Personnel. Danger, Hazardous Materials. Approved Clothing Must Be Worn. And the one that gives you instant pause: Stop – DNA Sensitive Area. Do Not Enter Unless You Have Given An Elimination Sample.

I’m no crime fiction reader, but even I imagined feature writer Jon Henley as some sort of serial killer, whose DNA would be found all over crime scenes across the country and sent to LGC. How very convenient that through that elimination sample, he now has the perfect alibi for all those murders and remains free to kill again. Possibly anyway. We’ll have to watch for the follow up artcile as he clears his name again.

Also interesting was the effect that the CSI programmes have had on their customers and the juries they present their findings to. It might be wise of me to point out that the technical stuff in other science/medical dramas is often also rather overblown and often just wrong – which comes at a cost:

TV’s worst inaccuracies may compromise what trust remains between doctors and patients.

And Mrs 6000’s favourite show is right at the top of the naughty list.

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