The reputation of DNA testing remains mostly untainted, rose-tinted by the mental imagery of white-coated techs working in spotless labs to deliver justice, surrounded by all sorts of science stuff and high-powered computers. In reality, testing methods vary greatly from crime lab to crime lab, as do the standards for declaring a match. People lose their freedom thanks to inexact science and careless handling of samples. And it happens far more frequently than anyone involved in crime lab testing would like you to believe.

But federal authorities recently screwed up and revealed the secret themselves when they published a cache of case documents but failed to redact one identifying piece of information about the target: his email address, Ed_Snowden@lavabit.com. With that, the very authorities holding the threat of jail time over Levison’s head if he said anything have confirmed what everyone had long ago presumed: that the target account was Snowden’s.

An important part of the scientific process involves recognising human bias and preventing it from affecting results. For that reason, scientists use double-blind studies. When evaluating a drug for clinical trials, neither the doctors nor the patient knows who has been given the experimental drug and who the placebo. It is only after the experiment has been concluded that the scientists are unblinded. That way their wishful thinking can’t influence their findings.

Not so with the legal profession, which accumulates biases every step of the way. Most police, when they show a line-up to a witness, know which face belongs to the suspect. Studies have shown that that simple knowledge can lead an officer to unconsciously influence the witness who, in turn, can pick the favoured suspect, who might not be the perpetrator.

Mer kameraövervakning och telefonavlyssning. Tillåt brottsprovokation. Separata och ”spartanska” fängelser för utländska medborgare. Det är några saker som Sverigedemokraterna har motionerat om de senaste veckorna. Men enligt experter strider förslagen mot grundläggande rättsprinciper.

– De står för en extremt repressiv rättspolitik, säger Anne Ramberg, generalsekreterare vid Advokatsamfundet.

In a ruling by United States District Judge Thomas P. Griesa in the United States District Court in Manhattan, Grooveshark parent company Escape Media and two of the company’s top executives were found liable for infringing the rights of the labels on a grand scale.

So, sadly, this may spell the end of Grooveshark, the only music streaming service I know of that doesn't suck. Bummer.

Instead, for most of the postwar period, criminal trials have been decided by professional judges, who are notorious for convicting over 99 percent of defendants. By contrast, the prewar jury system acquitted in about 17 percent of cases (though judges could order a new jury trial if they considered a verdict inappropriate). This stark discrepancy is one of the reasons why a small but dedicated group of activists such as Isa wants to revive the jury system.

To Isa, the system of lay judges that started hearing trials in 2009 is nothing like a jury. Under this system, randomly selected citizens with no legal expertise (“lay judges”) and professional judges hear and make decisions about culpability and punishment in trials involving serious offenses such as murder. This may sound a lot like what a jury does, but there is a huge difference between a system in which judges and laypeople decide a case together and one in which the laypeople act alone.

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