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A recent study found that crime labs across the country are literally being incentivized to turn out results that will be favorable to prosecutors in getting criminal convictions. Some say that this introduces a point of compromise in a process that is supposed to be free of bias and partiality.
Its not hard to imagine why. Biased reward schedules are how animals are trained. When a performance is rewarded, a subject will produce more of it. When a performance is not rewarded, a subject will produce less of it.
Like a puppy being rewarded for performing a trick, the government rewards crime labs for “verifying” that unknown substances are illegal narcotics; for finding a driver’s blood alcohol content to be over a certain arbitrary number; for determining that a package of drugs is over a certain arbitrary weight so a more draconian charge can be imposed.
Impossible? Consider the recent corruption scandal in Massachusetts, in which a biased crime lab chemist used her pos
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