The popular fascination with forensic science, DNA bio?banks and TV shows such as CSI have created a belief that the law can track down any criminal and that only a small sample from his or her body is needed to prove whether he or she is guilty or innocent. In recent years, however, there were a number of cases of forensic scientists tampering with DNA evidence. Psychoanalysis raises the question of whether such cases present us with individuals who derive a perverse pleasure from making "mistakes" in their testimonies. For a pervert is not only someone who seeks a particular sexual pleasure (such as a voyeur, masochist, sadist or exhibitionist), a pervert might very well be someone who enjoys the empowerment of speaking from a position of self-righteousness. When a forensic scientist goes to the extreme of making false claims about DNA evidence, we have the right to ask just why he or she relishes being an authority who (often in the name of morality) can manipulate other people's lives. The question also exists as to why the legal profession has such a hard time questioning expert testimonies and why the public places such faith in the power of DNA.


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pp. 887-906
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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