John Oliver uncovers a shocking problem with Forensic Science in the latest Last Week Tonight 3 years ago

John Oliver uncovers a shocking problem with Forensic Science in the latest Last Week Tonight

Even your own finger-prints can get you into trouble.

We don't know whether this was common knowledge and we were just being ignorant, or if this just isn't widely regarded as a well-known fact just yet, but did you know that there have been identical finger-prints found which caused the wrong person getting arrested for the Madrid bombings a few years back?

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Yup, the staple of cop shows and the corner-stone of most court-cases, forensic evidence is not the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to finding someone guilty of a crime.

Or at least, it shouldn't be, but as this week's Last Week Tonight's episode shows, despite so many different types of forensic science being proved to be completely unreliable, they are still found to be admissible in court, simply because they have been found admissible in court previously.

One of the most shocking facts is the number of cases that have been proven should never have reached a verdict based on the dodgy forensic science used in the trial... and the amount of those cases that have already resulted in the prosecuted being executed.

Thankfully (we guess?), it does all end on a funny note, when they create a new cop show that attempts to stick more rigidly to the realistic rules of forensic science, and just how much more difficult the TV detectives will actually find their job in the real world.

Clip via LastWeekTonight