California commission recommends individual certification


February 26, 2009 - In its Final Report, the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice recommends that "rigorous certification standards should be established and encouraged for individual forensic experts employed by the crime labs."

Though stopping short of calling for statewide mandatory certification, the report states, "California Crime lab directors should take the lead in encouraging certification by using it as a factor in promotion and salary decisions."

California's forensic science professionals may face increased pressure inside the courtroom as well. According to the Commission, "Prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys can provide additional motivation by presenting certification in the qualification of expert witnesses in court, and cross-examining uncertified experts as to why they have not pursued certification."