In an official announcement on Monday, Attorney General Jefferson Sessions said that an interdisciplinary panel on forensic science, known as the National Commission on Forensic Science, would not be renewed by the Justice Department under the Trump administration. The commission was originally created by the Obama administration in an effort to improve the effectiveness of forensic evidence in criminal cases.
The commission, which was originally created in 2013, consisted of an independent group of legal, scientific and law enforcement professionals whose task was to offer insights into the needs of crime labs and the most reliable uses of forensic evidence in the courtroom.
The panel had already been responsible for the creation of new crime lab guidelines that were intended to improve the overall function of forensic professionals as part of broader law-enforcement efforts. Questions regarding the strength and validity of forensic evidence under various circumstances had also been taken up by the panel.
Despite the announcement that the partnership between the National Commission on Forensic Science and the Department of Justice would not be renewed, Mr. Sessions did formally recognize the need for continued focus on forensic evidence in modern law enforcement. According to the recently-confirmed attorney general, the functions of the commission would continue to be a priority for the department, but would be reassigned to internal advisors.