People in Louisiana and the rest of the nation are often regaled with new scientific theories. Many of them can be shown to be a benefit to the community and to our personal lives. However, many of them fall under the heading of junk science. This is a mass of beliefs related to ideas and concepts that promise much but deliver nothing.
How can you recognize junk science?
It is particularly crucial to recognize and expose the use of junk science in the criminal defense system. The main reason is to prevent people being convicted of crimes they are innocent of. Using junk science to secure convictions is a hazard that sooner or later backfires on the justice system.
The main hallmark of junk science is that it has little or no real research to underpin its main premise. For example, proponents of “911 call analysis” believe they can spot a fake call by noting the caller’s voice tone, selected pauses, and choice of words. However, none of this analysis has ever been accepted by recognized experts.
Junk science tends to simplify things. This ignores the many years of training it takes to become an expert in any scientific field. Proponents of a junk science theory often claim that they bypassed “the system” to bring their results directly to the public.
Can junk science cause harm?
Junk science is a phenomenon that emanates from many people who consider themselves commentators on the justice system. Wild theories about personal rights and responsibilities, or theories involving serial killers, dominate the web. However, these theories often lead to a dead end than anywhere productive. In many cases, they have sent innocent people to prison.
Even after being discarded, these theories can still reach the public and cause harm. They tend to encourage the personal beliefs and prejudices of the target audience. This can perpetuate the existence of false ideas. As a result, they can still influence even law enforcement and prosecutors negatively.