What if you could probe a 3D image of a murder victim's corpse months or years after an autopsy, peeling apart layers of digital flesh with the flick of a finger? Could detectives solve cold cases by "visiting" a virtual crime scene accurately re-created in a computer? And would tracking down a criminal be easier if you could make ultra thin casts of fingerprints, revealing some too faint to be picked up by ordinary techniques and permanently preserving the prints? All these innovations promise to bring the forensic lab closer to the glamorous crime-solving fantasy world of CSI. But there is a startling gap between that world and the gritty reality of today's forensic crime lab. NOVA investigates how poor analysis of fingerprints, bite marks, ballistics, hair, and tool marks can send innocent men and women to prison--and sometimes even to death row. With the help of vivid re-creations of actual trials and cases, NOVA investigates today's shaky state of crime science, contrasting it against astonishing new techniques that could help investigators put the real criminals behind bars.
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