Gov. Whitmer launches task force on forensic science

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer launched a task force on forensic science Friday, saying Michigan must ensure it "adheres to the highest standards of evidence."

The Democratic governor signed an executive order to establish the task force, which will recommend methodology improvements, processes to address misconduct and procedures to provide updates on developments in the field. The task force will work within the Michigan State Police.

“Michigan will always ensure that the highest standards are being met when it comes to justice," Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said. "The work of the Forensic Science Task Force will ensure that our legal and criminal justice systems can keep up with the times. The Governor and I look forward to their recommendations."

Michigan State Police and other investigators on the scene at a rest area just outside Grand Ledge on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.

Director Col. Joseph Gasper of the Michigan State Police and Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack will serve as co-chairs of the new task force.

The panel will deliver its findings by Dec. 31, according to a press release from the governor's office.

In addition to medical practitioners, legal professionals and academics, four state lawmakers will be on the task force: Sen. John Bizon, R-Battle Creek; Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit; Rep. Robert Bezotte, R-Howell, and Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, D-Livonia.

"I'm honored to take on this important work to ensure that our criminal legal system delivers justice for the people of Michigan,” McCormack said. “Michigan can be a national leader in better science promoting better justice."