Published on April 14, 2012
Evidence collected at crime scenes — everything from fingerprints to bite marks — is routinely called upon in the courtroom to prosecute crimes and put the guilty behind bars. And though glamorized on commercial television, in the real world, it’s not so cut-and-dried. A joint investigation by FRONTLINE, ProPublica and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley examines the reliability of the science behind forensics in "The Real CSI," airing Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Check local listings.
FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman finds serious flaws in some of the best-known tools of forensic science and wide inconsistencies in how forensic evidence is presented in the courtroom. From the sensational murder trial of Casey Anthony to the credentialing of forensic experts, Bergman documents how a field with few uniform standards and unproven science can undermine the search for justice.
The Real CSI is a FRONTLINE production in collaboration with ProPublica and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley. Several students and alumni contributed to the film. Andrés Cediel '04 produced and wrote the film with Professor Lowell Bergman. Leah Bartos '11 was the reporter. Christine Mai-Duc '12, Amina Waheed '13, Mario Furloni '11 and Mariel Waloff '13 provided vital research and production assistance. Zachary Stauffer '08 was director of photography. Nina Goodby '11 was associate producer/assistant editor. Jonathan Jones '05 was the fact-checker. Thomas Gorman '11 assisted with production and field sound. Singeli Agnew '07 and Emma Cott '09 were additional camera operators. The correspondent is Lowell Bergman.<