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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Vaping Science: FBI Less Accurate?

While many in our vaping community lament the government nonsense involved with FDA "regulation" sometimes its important to put all things government related in perspective.

Take, for example, this report: "REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity of Feature-Comparison Methods."

It's purpose is laudable: "... to strengthen the scientific underpinnings of the forensic disciplines, as well as on actions that could be taken by the Attorney General and the judiciary to promote the more rigorous use of these disciplines in the courtroom."

However, a bit of reading make one a bit queazy: "... to help close these gaps for a number of forensic “feature-comparison” methods—specifically, methods for comparing DNA samples, bitemarks, latent fingerprints, firearm marks, footwear, and hair...".

Close the gaps?

Gee, if I listen to what's said on TV, take Nancy Grace or CSI as an example, why courtrooms practically bloom with science on a daily basis...

(Er, well, maybe not...  Nancy Grace was convinced that poor old Casey Anthony was a horrific child murderer.  Oh the horror!  Casey was the subject of some of my blog posts about "circumstantial evidence."  Casey was acquitted and, at least according to her, her attorney and jurors, quite reasonably so...  Various rambling posts cover much of what's wrong with the legal system...)

If we move along to page #16 we see an indication of a gap: "... the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI undertook an unprecedented review of testimony in more than 3,000 criminal cases involving microscopic hair analysis. Their initial results, released in 2015, showed that FBI examiners had provided scientifically invalid testimony in more than 95 percent of cases where that testimony was used to inculpate a defendant at trial."

FBI examiners provided scientifically invalid testimony...

In 95 percent of the cases.

Hmmm, sounding a bit more like the vaping situation with the FDA.

The bottom line: The FBI said the bite marks match so everyone believes it - even when much of the time not only do they NOT match but there is no scientific basis what-so-ever for the bite mark conclusions given in court.

Now, believe it or not, people actually are put in prison by this criminal stuff.  We, the vapers, are merely deprived of our Constitutional rights to manage our own well being.

Again: FBI examiners provided scientifically invalid testimony.

(You can read on - you will mostly find that human error makes all of the various investigative techniques less accurate than they are represented at trial.  Significantly so, apparently.  But on to the point of this post.)

Perhaps we are looking to government for the wrong thing.

If the FBI cannot accurately do simple things like match hair how can we expect the FDA to more complex things like figure out if peoples live are being saved?

Seems like the FBI would be able to accurately complete an FDA PMTA.

(One also images that this will affect minorities disproportionally as certain minorities are overrepresented in the present judicial system (fuel for the "social justice" fire I am afraid).)

All in all its not just the vaper's getting the short end of the stick...

Perhaps we need to think about our total reliance on "daddy gub'ment" to save us.

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