Adam Ruins Everything (2015) s01e04 Episode Script

Adam Ruins Forensic Science

1 Yeah! Fill me in, Cormac.
Homicide, male, early 30s.
Homicide, male, early 30s.
Shot five times.
Cause of death lead poisoning.
Nice one.
lead poisoning.
Nice one.
The entry wound was through Nice one.
The entry wound was through the victim's right eye socket.
The entry wound was through the victim's right eye socket.
Looks like he never saw it the victim's right eye socket.
Looks like he never saw it coming.
Looks like he never saw it coming.
Okay, Nash, a man's dead.
coming.
Okay, Nash, a man's dead.
We picked up a guy loitering Okay, Nash, a man's dead.
We picked up a guy loitering around the crime scene.
We picked up a guy loitering around the crime scene.
Looks like a real deviant.
around the crime scene.
Looks like a real deviant.
This the guy? Looks like a real deviant.
This the guy? Hi.
Did you know the modern This the guy? Hi.
Did you know the modern handcuff was invented in 1812? Hi.
Did you know the modern handcuff was invented in 1812? (groans) You have the right handcuff was invented in 1812? (groans) You have the right to remain (groans) You have the right to remain Silent? to remain Silent? Gosh, I wish I could.
Silent? Gosh, I wish I could.
I'm Adam Conover, and this Gosh, I wish I could.
I'm Adam Conover, and this is "Adam Ruins Everything".
I'm Adam Conover, and this is "Adam Ruins Everything".
(siren blaring) is "Adam Ruins Everything".
(siren blaring) I don't envy Cormac being in the same room with that guy.
Is he talking at least? in the same room with that guy.
Is he talking at least? That's the problem.
Is he talking at least? That's the problem.
He won't stop.
That's the problem.
He won't stop.
and that's why America He won't stop.
and that's why America should convert to the metric and that's why America should convert to the metric system.
should convert to the metric system.
Also, I didn't kill that guy, system.
Also, I didn't kill that guy, so Also, I didn't kill that guy, so Yeah, tell it to the lie so Yeah, tell it to the lie detector, sicko.
Yeah, tell it to the lie detector, sicko.
Wait, really? detector, sicko.
Wait, really? You guys still use these? Wait, really? You guys still use these? Yeah.
You guys still use these? Yeah.
You got a problem with that? Yeah.
You got a problem with that? Yeah, because they don't You got a problem with that? Yeah, because they don't work at all.
Yeah, because they don't work at all.
You didn't know this? work at all.
You didn't know this? The polygraph test is 100% You didn't know this? The polygraph test is 100% old-timey pseudo-science.
The polygraph test is 100% old-timey pseudo-science.
You know, back in the Dark Ages old-timey pseudo-science.
You know, back in the Dark Ages they would force criminals to You know, back in the Dark Ages they would force criminals to hold a red-hot iron to see they would force criminals to hold a red-hot iron to see if it burned them.
hold a red-hot iron to see if it burned them.
If it did, it meant you were if it burned them.
If it did, it meant you were lying.
If it did, it meant you were lying.
State your name for the lying.
State your name for the record.
State your name for the record.
Lying already? record.
Lying already? (screaming) Lying already? (screaming) But the modern polygraph (screaming) But the modern polygraph is just as ridiculous.
But the modern polygraph is just as ridiculous.
Humans are complicated.
is just as ridiculous.
Humans are complicated.
The truth isn't something you Humans are complicated.
The truth isn't something you can just detect with a machine.
The truth isn't something you can just detect with a machine.
Oh, yeah? can just detect with a machine.
Oh, yeah? Then what's it detecting, buddy? Oh, yeah? Then what's it detecting, buddy? Heartbeat, blood pressure, Then what's it detecting, buddy? Heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing, sweats.
Heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing, sweats.
Dirty sweaty liars.
breathing, sweats.
Dirty sweaty liars.
But why would being sweaty Dirty sweaty liars.
But why would being sweaty necessarily mean you're lying? But why would being sweaty necessarily mean you're lying? Hell, it could just mean you're necessarily mean you're lying? Hell, it could just mean you're doing CrossFit.
Hell, it could just mean you're doing CrossFit.
50 51 doing CrossFit.
50 51 You're lying, bro.
50 51 You're lying, bro.
(grunting) You're lying, bro.
(grunting) You're lying.
(grunting) You're lying.
Hey, stop with the cutaways, You're lying.
Hey, stop with the cutaways, punk.
Hey, stop with the cutaways, punk.
Truthful people can fail punk.
Truthful people can fail polygraphs just because they're Truthful people can fail polygraphs just because they're sweaty or nervous, and all you polygraphs just because they're sweaty or nervous, and all you have to do to beat the test sweaty or nervous, and all you have to do to beat the test is stay super chill and keep have to do to beat the test is stay super chill and keep your heart rate down.
is stay super chill and keep your heart rate down.
Criminals do it all the time, your heart rate down.
Criminals do it all the time, like Gary Ridgeway, Criminals do it all the time, like Gary Ridgeway, the Green River Killer.
like Gary Ridgeway, the Green River Killer.
Soviet spy Aldrich Ames, the Green River Killer.
Soviet spy Aldrich Ames, and serial killer Charles Soviet spy Aldrich Ames, and serial killer Charles Cullen, also known as and serial killer Charles Cullen, also known as the Angel of Death.
Cullen, also known as the Angel of Death.
They're monsters.
the Angel of Death.
They're monsters.
Monsters who all beat the They're monsters.
Monsters who all beat the polygraph, just because they Monsters who all beat the polygraph, just because they were laid-back dudes with polygraph, just because they were laid-back dudes with chill attitudes.
were laid-back dudes with chill attitudes.
Yeah! chill attitudes.
Yeah! The polygraph is so easy Yeah! The polygraph is so easy to beat they teach classes on The polygraph is so easy to beat they teach classes on how to do it.
to beat they teach classes on how to do it.
Really? how to do it.
Really? Whatever, jerk.
Really? Whatever, jerk.
All this is just your opinion.
Whatever, jerk.
All this is just your opinion.
Hate to break it to you, All this is just your opinion.
Hate to break it to you, but even the inventor of Hate to break it to you, but even the inventor of the polygraph thought it was BS.
but even the inventor of the polygraph thought it was BS.
Hey, slimeball, sit down the polygraph thought it was BS.
Hey, slimeball, sit down or I'm calling for backup! Hey, slimeball, sit down or I'm calling for backup! The only backup we'll need or I'm calling for backup! The only backup we'll need today is from scholarly sources.
The only backup we'll need today is from scholarly sources.
(groans) today is from scholarly sources.
(groans) The polygraph was invented (groans) The polygraph was invented in 1921 by a medical student The polygraph was invented in 1921 by a medical student named John Larson.
in 1921 by a medical student named John Larson.
I will never regret named John Larson.
I will never regret inventing this.
I will never regret inventing this.
He would go on to regret inventing this.
He would go on to regret inventing it.
He would go on to regret inventing it.
Larson became so horrified by inventing it.
Larson became so horrified by law enforcement's unscientific Larson became so horrified by law enforcement's unscientific use of his device he would go on law enforcement's unscientific use of his device he would go on to call the machine a use of his device he would go on to call the machine a "Frankenstein's monster".
to call the machine a "Frankenstein's monster".
(thunder cracking) "Frankenstein's monster".
(thunder cracking) Stop it! (thunder cracking) Stop it! It's a lie! Stop it! It's a lie! It's a lie! It's a lie! It's a lie! Damn it.
It's a lie! Damn it.
But no one listened, Damn it.
But no one listened, and ever since people have But no one listened, and ever since people have insisted that the polygraph and ever since people have insisted that the polygraph can do frankly impossible insisted that the polygraph can do frankly impossible things.
can do frankly impossible things.
In the late 1960s a polygraph things.
In the late 1960s a polygraph expert conducted tests on plants In the late 1960s a polygraph expert conducted tests on plants and concluded Good gravy, this plant can feel emotions like pain can feel emotions like pain and fear.
and fear.
instead of the more instead of the more obvious conclusion-- obvious conclusion-- Good gravy, this machine is a piece of garbage that goes off randomly.
Okay, pea brain, if it's garbage why do so many people trust it? garbage why do so many people trust it? Yeah, I wonder why.
They say that she's cooperating, but when the mom cooperating, but when the mom won't take a polygraph to me won't take a polygraph to me that raises some red flags.
that raises some red flags.
He's lying.
He's lying.
During your relationship, During your relationship, have you ever had sexual have you ever had sexual intercourse with another woma? intercourse with another woma? You said no; the lie detector You said no; the lie detector test determined that was a li.
test determined that was a li.
(crowd gasping and reacting) The media has pushed the "infallibility" of the lie detector so hard that now "infallibility" of the lie detector so hard that now everyone believes in it, detector so hard that now everyone believes in it, even though it just straight-up everyone believes in it, even though it just straight-up doesn't work, and this thing is even though it just straight-up doesn't work, and this thing is still embedded in our legal doesn't work, and this thing is still embedded in our legal system.
still embedded in our legal system.
Massachusetts uses it to system.
Massachusetts uses it to establish probable cause.
Massachusetts uses it to establish probable cause.
Florida requires sex offenders establish probable cause.
Florida requires sex offenders to take the test.
Florida requires sex offenders to take the test.
Combined, government agencies to take the test.
Combined, government agencies test over 70,000 people a year Combined, government agencies test over 70,000 people a year with this century-old piece test over 70,000 people a year with this century-old piece of pseudo-science.
with this century-old piece of pseudo-science.
Listen, Conover, you want of pseudo-science.
Listen, Conover, you want to know the truth? Listen, Conover, you want to know the truth? We know it doesn't work.
to know the truth? We know it doesn't work.
We just use it to trick gullible We know it doesn't work.
We just use it to trick gullible criminals who think it works We just use it to trick gullible criminals who think it works into giving confessions.
criminals who think it works into giving confessions.
Are you happy now? into giving confessions.
Are you happy now? Yeah, I am, 'cause now Are you happy now? Yeah, I am, 'cause now everyone knows that, so you Yeah, I am, 'cause now everyone knows that, so you can't trick 'em anymore.
everyone knows that, so you can't trick 'em anymore.
Listen, (bleep) bird! can't trick 'em anymore.
Listen, (bleep) bird! This just in-- Listen, (bleep) bird! This just in-- an eyewitness spotted this bozo This just in-- an eyewitness spotted this bozo at the crime scene.
an eyewitness spotted this bozo at the crime scene.
Son, you better put on your at the crime scene.
Son, you better put on your reading glasses Son, you better put on your reading glasses 'cause we're throwing the book reading glasses 'cause we're throwing the book at you.
'cause we're throwing the book at you.
Ooh, good twist.
at you.
Ooh, good twist.
Too bad eyewitness testimony Ooh, good twist.
Too bad eyewitness testimony is completely unreliable.
Too bad eyewitness testimony is completely unreliable.
(groaning) When it comes to the truth, our memories can't be trusted.
our memories can't be trusted.
That's insane! Can I get you folks something? Yeah, pour me a glass of something? Yeah, pour me a glass of the truth.
Yeah, pour me a glass of the truth.
Detective Nash, the truth.
Detective Nash, Detective Cormac, LAPD Detective Nash, Detective Cormac, LAPD Special Murder Unit.
Detective Cormac, LAPD Special Murder Unit.
Mind if we ask you some Special Murder Unit.
Mind if we ask you some questions? Mind if we ask you some questions? Not as long as I can keep questions? Not as long as I can keep doing visually interesting Not as long as I can keep doing visually interesting tasks.
doing visually interesting tasks.
Yeah, go ahead.
tasks.
Yeah, go ahead.
What did you see in the alley Yeah, go ahead.
What did you see in the alley last night? What did you see in the alley last night? Well, I remember crystal last night? Well, I remember crystal clear: there was a stylish dude Well, I remember crystal clear: there was a stylish dude with a tall haircut, shot a man clear: there was a stylish dude with a tall haircut, shot a man broad daylight.
with a tall haircut, shot a man broad daylight.
It was wild.
broad daylight.
It was wild.
This the guy? Oh, yeah, that's him, all right, and this is you.
Good enough for me.
all right, and this is you.
Good enough for me.
Yeah, me too.
Good enough for me.
Yeah, me too.
Well, it shouldn't be.
Yeah, me too.
Well, it shouldn't be.
We think of our memories as Well, it shouldn't be.
We think of our memories as perfect recordings, but the fact We think of our memories as perfect recordings, but the fact is even your most cherished perfect recordings, but the fact is even your most cherished childhood recollections are is even your most cherished childhood recollections are just garbled stories your brain childhood recollections are just garbled stories your brain is telling itself.
I find that hard to believe.
Oh, allow me to demonstrate.
Detective Nash, what's your most Oh, allow me to demonstrate.
Detective Nash, what's your most cherished childhood memory.
Detective Nash, what's your most cherished childhood memory.
Oh, I remember it like it was cherished childhood memory.
Oh, I remember it like it was yesterday: the school play.
Oh, I remember it like it was yesterday: the school play.
It was called "The Spooky yesterday: the school play.
It was called "The Spooky Halloween".
It was called "The Spooky Halloween".
I was playing Officer Ghostly.
Halloween".
I was playing Officer Ghostly.
(chuckles) The theater was I was playing Officer Ghostly.
(chuckles) The theater was packed.
(chuckles) The theater was packed.
I was nervous but I hit the packed.
I was nervous but I hit the stage and delivered my line.
I was nervous but I hit the stage and delivered my line.
"Looks like someone committed stage and delivered my line.
"Looks like someone committed a boo-glary.
" "Looks like someone committed a boo-glary.
" (laughter and applause) a boo-glary.
" (laughter and applause) I was a hit.
(laughter and applause) I was a hit.
I knew then that I wanted to I was a hit.
I knew then that I wanted to solve crimes and tell crime- I knew then that I wanted to solve crimes and tell crime- related puns for the rest of solve crimes and tell crime- related puns for the rest of my life.
related puns for the rest of my life.
And then in the doorway my life.
And then in the doorway I saw my estranged father.
And then in the doorway I saw my estranged father.
He had finally come to watch me I saw my estranged father.
He had finally come to watch me perform.
Dad never understood my love of wordplay until that moment.
of wordplay until that moment.
Very touching.
until that moment.
Very touching.
Too bad it's not remotely Very touching.
Too bad it's not remotely what happened.
Too bad it's not remotely what happened.
What? what happened.
What? First of all, you weren't What? First of all, you weren't wearing sunglasses.
First of all, you weren't wearing sunglasses.
You were dressed like wearing sunglasses.
You were dressed like a regular kid.
You were dressed like a regular kid.
And your actual line was: a regular kid.
And your actual line was: Look, a ghost! But why do I remember it that way? Well, every time you told that way? Well, every time you told the story you added a detail Well, every time you told the story you added a detail and subconsciously tailored your the story you added a detail and subconsciously tailored your memory to fit your audience, and subconsciously tailored your memory to fit your audience, whether you were trying to memory to fit your audience, whether you were trying to impress them whether you were trying to impress them No one had ever heard a kid impress them No one had ever heard a kid be so funny or spooky.
No one had ever heard a kid be so funny or spooky.
make them laugh be so funny or spooky.
make them laugh "Boo-glary.
" make them laugh "Boo-glary.
" (laughter) "Boo-glary.
" (laughter) Hey, you might say it was (laughter) Hey, you might say it was a polterg-heist.
Hey, you might say it was a polterg-heist.
(laughter) a polterg-heist.
(laughter) Cheers.
(laughter) Cheers.
or just because they Cheers.
or just because they ask you to as part of their or just because they ask you to as part of their basic cable show.
ask you to as part of their basic cable show.
I remember it like it was basic cable show.
I remember it like it was yesterday: the school play.
I remember it like it was yesterday: the school play.
(pop) yesterday: the school play.
(pop) And over time, the memory (pop) And over time, the memory itself changed not because you And over time, the memory itself changed not because you were lying but because that's itself changed not because you were lying but because that's just what brains do.
were lying but because that's just what brains do.
They add details to fill in just what brains do.
They add details to fill in the gaps.
They add details to fill in the gaps.
But my mean dad arriving at the gaps.
But my mean dad arriving at the last minute.
But my mean dad arriving at the last minute.
Oh, you're just remembering the last minute.
Oh, you're just remembering the end of the movie Oh, you're just remembering the end of the movie "Billy Elliot": your dad was the end of the movie "Billy Elliot": your dad was there, he recorded that.
"Billy Elliot": your dad was there, he recorded that.
He was actually very supportive.
there, he recorded that.
He was actually very supportive.
Oh, my personal narrative! He was actually very supportive.
Oh, my personal narrative! What do you think you are, Oh, my personal narrative! What do you think you are, a psychologist? What do you think you are, a psychologist? No, but I am and he is right.
a psychologist? No, but I am and he is right.
Oh, guys, this is Elizabeth No, but I am and he is right.
Oh, guys, this is Elizabeth Loftus; she's a professor at UC Irvine and a pioneering researcher in the field of researcher in the field of false memories.
Oh, Elizabeth, tell them how easy it is to influence memory.
It is so cool.
easy it is to influence memory.
It is so cool.
Sure, Adam.
It is so cool.
Sure, Adam.
I conducted a study where we Sure, Adam.
I conducted a study where we showed people simulated car I conducted a study where we showed people simulated car accidents, and even though these showed people simulated car accidents, and even though these were minor accidents we could accidents, and even though these were minor accidents we could ask leading questions and get were minor accidents we could ask leading questions and get people to remember that the cars ask leading questions and get people to remember that the cars were going faster and to people to remember that the cars were going faster and to "remember" that they saw were going faster and to "remember" that they saw broken glass at the scene, "remember" that they saw broken glass at the scene, even though there wasn't any broken glass at the scene, even though there wasn't any broken glass at all.
even though there wasn't any broken glass at all.
And we really need to keep broken glass at all.
And we really need to keep in mind that when people recall And we really need to keep in mind that when people recall something, they can have a lot in mind that when people recall something, they can have a lot of detail, a lot of confidence, something, they can have a lot of detail, a lot of confidence, a lot of emotion when they tell of detail, a lot of confidence, a lot of emotion when they tell you a story, even though a lot of emotion when they tell you a story, even though it never happened.
you a story, even though it never happened.
That's insane! it never happened.
That's insane! How could our brains get it That's insane! How could our brains get it wrong so quickly? How could our brains get it wrong so quickly? It's because our memories wrong so quickly? It's because our memories just don't work like the cameras It's because our memories just don't work like the cameras recording this TV show.
just don't work like the cameras recording this TV show.
That's right; they work more recording this TV show.
That's right; they work more like a Wikipedia page, which That's right; they work more like a Wikipedia page, which means you can go in there and like a Wikipedia page, which means you can go in there and edit it but so can other people, means you can go in there and edit it but so can other people, and this has real consequences edit it but so can other people, and this has real consequences for law enforcement because and this has real consequences for law enforcement because sometimes police maybe for law enforcement because sometimes police maybe inadvertently will ask leading sometimes police maybe inadvertently will ask leading or suggestive questions inadvertently will ask leading or suggestive questions and they can contaminate or suggestive questions and they can contaminate the memories of the witnesses and they can contaminate the memories of the witnesses they're interviewing.
the memories of the witnesses they're interviewing.
Here, I'll show you.
Ma'am? You have to pay.
I did already, remember? You have to pay.
I did already, remember? Oh, yeah.
Wait a second! Line up, please.
(door lock buzzing) Line up, please.
(door lock buzzing) Even when they don't do it (door lock buzzing) Even when they don't do it intentionally cops unconsciously Even when they don't do it intentionally cops unconsciously bias and alter the memories intentionally cops unconsciously bias and alter the memories of witnesses all the time.
bias and alter the memories of witnesses all the time.
Which one of these guys of witnesses all the time.
Which one of these guys stole your purse? Which one of these guys stole your purse? I think it was stole your purse? I think it was (scoffs) Oh.
I think it was (scoffs) Oh.
Oh! (scoffs) Oh.
Oh! Him, the guy with Oh! Him, the guy with the eye patch.
Him, the guy with the eye patch.
You sure? the eye patch.
You sure? Yes, I remember him.
You sure? Yes, I remember him.
No, that's not a criminal, Yes, I remember him.
No, that's not a criminal, that's just my friend Larry.
No, that's not a criminal, that's just my friend Larry.
He just looks scary 'cause of that's just my friend Larry.
He just looks scary 'cause of his scratched cornea.
He just looks scary 'cause of his scratched cornea.
Hey, Larry, how's your eye? his scratched cornea.
Hey, Larry, how's your eye? It's not great, man.
Hey, Larry, how's your eye? It's not great, man.
The doctor told me to come back It's not great, man.
The doctor told me to come back in two weeks and I don't have The doctor told me to come back in two weeks and I don't have enough drugs.
in two weeks and I don't have enough drugs.
I don't have an HMO.
enough drugs.
I don't have an HMO.
You know, it's very-- I don't have an HMO.
You know, it's very-- God, this guy could talk! You know, it's very-- God, this guy could talk! But eyewitness testimony is God, this guy could talk! But eyewitness testimony is the foundation of police work.
But eyewitness testimony is the foundation of police work.
Yeah, that's why it sucks the foundation of police work.
Yeah, that's why it sucks that when it comes to the truth, Yeah, that's why it sucks that when it comes to the truth, our memories simply can't be that when it comes to the truth, our memories simply can't be trusted.
our memories simply can't be trusted.
(grunting) trusted.
(grunting) (cell phone ringtone) (grunting) (cell phone ringtone) It's the forensics lab.
(cell phone ringtone) It's the forensics lab.
Looks like they found Conover's It's the forensics lab.
Looks like they found Conover's fingerprints at the scene.
Looks like they found Conover's fingerprints at the scene.
And no two fingerprints fingerprints at the scene.
And no two fingerprints are alike.
And no two fingerprints are alike.
Why don't you grab your crown are alike.
Why don't you grab your crown 'cause it looks like we got you, Why don't you grab your crown 'cause it looks like we got you, "Prints" Charming? 'cause it looks like we got you, "Prints" Charming? What, I can't do one? "Prints" Charming? What, I can't do one? Actually, that's never been What, I can't do one? Actually, that's never been proven; the fingerprints thing's Actually, that's never been proven; the fingerprints thing's not a real fact.
(chuckling) proven; the fingerprints thing's not a real fact.
(chuckling) I'm gonna kill you.
not a real fact.
(chuckling) I'm gonna kill you.
I'm gonna kill you! Work your magic, Macy.
Just have to enhance (beeping) Just have to enhance (beeping) and enhance (beeping) and enhance (beeping) and enhance (beeping) Enhance ooh! (beeping) Enhance ooh! Too enhanced.
Enhance ooh! Too enhanced.
Dehance.
Too enhanced.
Dehance.
(beeping) The print matches.
It couldn't possibly be anyone else.
First of all (all gasping) First of all (all gasping) "enhance" isn't a thing.
(all gasping) "enhance" isn't a thing.
Digital photos have a limited "enhance" isn't a thing.
Digital photos have a limited resolution; you can't just yell Digital photos have a limited resolution; you can't just yell at a computer to get more resolution; you can't just yell at a computer to get more detail, and secondly there is at a computer to get more detail, and secondly there is no scientific proof that detail, and secondly there is no scientific proof that fingerprints are unique.
no scientific proof that fingerprints are unique.
Enough, Conover! fingerprints are unique.
Enough, Conover! Everyone knows no two Enough, Conover! Everyone knows no two fingerprints are alike.
Everyone knows no two fingerprints are alike.
Like snowflakes.
fingerprints are alike.
Like snowflakes.
Oh! Funny you should say Like snowflakes.
Oh! Funny you should say that.
Oh! Funny you should say that.
In the 1980s a researcher that.
In the 1980s a researcher actually found two snowflakes In the 1980s a researcher actually found two snowflakes that had precisely the same actually found two snowflakes that had precisely the same pattern-- that had precisely the same pattern-- Hey, Dingledork, let's keep pattern-- Hey, Dingledork, let's keep it to fingerprints, okay? Hey, Dingledork, let's keep it to fingerprints, okay? Of course, save that for it to fingerprints, okay? Of course, save that for the Christmas episode.
Of course, save that for the Christmas episode.
The "no two fingerprints are the Christmas episode.
The "no two fingerprints are alike" cliché isn't science.
The "no two fingerprints are alike" cliché isn't science.
It's just something one guy said alike" cliché isn't science.
It's just something one guy said in 1892.
It's just something one guy said in 1892.
My name is Sir Francis in 1892.
My name is Sir Francis Galton; I postulate the chances My name is Sir Francis Galton; I postulate the chances of two specific individuals Galton; I postulate the chances of two specific individuals having the same fingerprint of two specific individuals having the same fingerprint is very teeny-tiny.
having the same fingerprint is very teeny-tiny.
Well, he sounds very is very teeny-tiny.
Well, he sounds very respectable.
Well, he sounds very respectable.
I also invented eugenics.
respectable.
I also invented eugenics.
Oh, God, get him out of here! I also invented eugenics.
Oh, God, get him out of here! Today Galton's hunch is Oh, God, get him out of here! Today Galton's hunch is common wisdom, and everyone Today Galton's hunch is common wisdom, and everyone assumes that fingerprint common wisdom, and everyone assumes that fingerprint evidence is infallible, assumes that fingerprint evidence is infallible, but it's not.
evidence is infallible, but it's not.
Take the case of Brandon but it's not.
Take the case of Brandon Mayfield: he was arrested for Take the case of Brandon Mayfield: he was arrested for the Madrid train bombings after Mayfield: he was arrested for the Madrid train bombings after the world's top fingerprint the Madrid train bombings after the world's top fingerprint experts swore that he was a the world's top fingerprint experts swore that he was a perfect match for a print found experts swore that he was a perfect match for a print found at the scene.
perfect match for a print found at the scene.
But it wasn't me.
at the scene.
But it wasn't me.
I'm an attorney from Oregon.
But it wasn't me.
I'm an attorney from Oregon.
I've never even been to Spain.
I'm an attorney from Oregon.
I've never even been to Spain.
Oh, you should go, I've never even been to Spain.
Oh, you should go, it's lovely.
Oh, you should go, it's lovely.
But because they believed it's lovely.
But because they believed that fingerprints told no lies, But because they believed that fingerprints told no lies, the FBI arrested Mayfield that fingerprints told no lies, the FBI arrested Mayfield and held him for weeks.
the FBI arrested Mayfield and held him for weeks.
By the way, I'm not the real and held him for weeks.
By the way, I'm not the real Brandon.
By the way, I'm not the real Brandon.
I'm an actor.
Brandon.
I'm an actor.
Hey! Let me out of here-- I'm an actor.
Hey! Let me out of here-- And even after making this Hey! Let me out of here-- And even after making this mistake, federal agents still And even after making this mistake, federal agents still maintained that fingerprint mistake, federal agents still maintained that fingerprint evidence was "infallible.
" maintained that fingerprint evidence was "infallible.
" Of course they're infallible.
evidence was "infallible.
" Of course they're infallible.
We have all these fancy Of course they're infallible.
We have all these fancy computers.
We have all these fancy computers.
Sure, on TV you do.
computers.
Sure, on TV you do.
But in real life, it looks more Sure, on TV you do.
But in real life, it looks more like this.
But in real life, it looks more like this.
Here's how a real fingerprint like this.
Here's how a real fingerprint analyst works.
Here's how a real fingerprint analyst works.
Wait a minute, those analyst works.
Wait a minute, those fingerprints look all smudgy.
Wait a minute, those fingerprints look all smudgy.
Man, is she just eyeballing it? fingerprints look all smudgy.
Man, is she just eyeballing it? That's insane! Man, is she just eyeballing it? That's insane! Yeah, fingerprints pulled That's insane! Yeah, fingerprints pulled from crime scenes tend to be Yeah, fingerprints pulled from crime scenes tend to be incomplete.
from crime scenes tend to be incomplete.
And the final stage of matching incomplete.
And the final stage of matching isn't done by computers, it's And the final stage of matching isn't done by computers, it's done by humans.
isn't done by computers, it's done by humans.
That means there's a huge done by humans.
That means there's a huge potential for error and bias.
That means there's a huge potential for error and bias.
It's been shown that analysts potential for error and bias.
It's been shown that analysts can unconsciously change their It's been shown that analysts can unconsciously change their evaluations depending on the can unconsciously change their evaluations depending on the details of a case.
evaluations depending on the details of a case.
Watch this.
details of a case.
Watch this.
Do these fingerprints match Watch this.
Do these fingerprints match the robber's? Do these fingerprints match the robber's? No, not a match.
the robber's? No, not a match.
And do these fingerprints No, not a match.
And do these fingerprints match the cat murderer's? And do these fingerprints match the cat murderer's? Yes! It's a perfect match! match the cat murderer's? Yes! It's a perfect match! Catch that fiend! Yes! It's a perfect match! Catch that fiend! Wait, I thought fingerprint Catch that fiend! Wait, I thought fingerprint matching was scientifically Wait, I thought fingerprint matching was scientifically proven.
matching was scientifically proven.
Actually, Detective, proven.
Actually, Detective, it's not.
Let me guess, another punk expert? expert? Yep! This is Simon Cole, Yep! This is Simon Cole, a criminologist at UC Irvine who studies fingerprint analysis.
You know, fingerprint analysis.
You know, fingerprint evidence has been used in court You know, fingerprint evidence has been used in court for over a century now, and evidence has been used in court for over a century now, and until recently, almost no for over a century now, and until recently, almost no research was done into how until recently, almost no research was done into how reliable it is.
research was done into how reliable it is.
Really? reliable it is.
Really? Are you (bleep)ing with me? Really? Are you (bleep)ing with me? Is this guy (bleep)ing with me? Are you (bleep)ing with me? Is this guy (bleep)ing with me? Unfortunately not.
Is this guy (bleep)ing with me? Unfortunately not.
And the Supreme Court ruled in Unfortunately not.
And the Supreme Court ruled in the Daubert decision that And the Supreme Court ruled in the Daubert decision that scientific evidence used in the Daubert decision that scientific evidence used in court has to be reliable.
scientific evidence used in court has to be reliable.
According to that decision, court has to be reliable.
According to that decision, unless fingerprint evidence is According to that decision, unless fingerprint evidence is offered with a substantial unless fingerprint evidence is offered with a substantial proviso, it shouldn't even be offered with a substantial proviso, it shouldn't even be allowed in court.
proviso, it shouldn't even be allowed in court.
(sighs) You are the worst allowed in court.
(sighs) You are the worst criminal we've ever had on this (sighs) You are the worst criminal we've ever had on this show.
criminal we've ever had on this show.
Exactly! show.
Exactly! Cop shows like yours present Exactly! Cop shows like yours present forensic science as infallible, Cop shows like yours present forensic science as infallible, but in reality, a lot of it forensic science as infallible, but in reality, a lot of it isn't scientific at all.
but in reality, a lot of it isn't scientific at all.
The FBI recently admitted that isn't scientific at all.
The FBI recently admitted that when conducting hair strand The FBI recently admitted that when conducting hair strand matches, their "experts" gave when conducting hair strand matches, their "experts" gave flawed testimony in 90% of the matches, their "experts" gave flawed testimony in 90% of the cases they reviewed.
flawed testimony in 90% of the cases they reviewed.
And in death penalty cases, the cases they reviewed.
And in death penalty cases, the number was 94%, including one And in death penalty cases, the number was 94%, including one time that a hair strand matched number was 94%, including one time that a hair strand matched to a human turned out to be time that a hair strand matched to a human turned out to be dog hair.
to a human turned out to be dog hair.
(dramatic music) dog hair.
(dramatic music) Bite mark analysis is notorious (dramatic music) Bite mark analysis is notorious nonsense, promulgated by a Bite mark analysis is notorious nonsense, promulgated by a small, ungoverned group of nonsense, promulgated by a small, ungoverned group of dentists.
small, ungoverned group of dentists.
Two men were once sent to death dentists.
Two men were once sent to death row because of bite marks that Two men were once sent to death row because of bite marks that were likely made by crawfish.
row because of bite marks that were likely made by crawfish.
(dramatic music) were likely made by crawfish.
(dramatic music) And, you've heard how fire (dramatic music) And, you've heard how fire investigators "detect" arson by And, you've heard how fire investigators "detect" arson by searching for "pouring investigators "detect" arson by searching for "pouring patterns.
" searching for "pouring patterns.
" These pouring patterns patterns.
" These pouring patterns suggest gasoline.
These pouring patterns suggest gasoline.
Scientists have since shown suggest gasoline.
Scientists have since shown that those patterns happen in Scientists have since shown that those patterns happen in any fire that has a flashover that those patterns happen in any fire that has a flashover event.
any fire that has a flashover event.
Eyeballing crime scenes just event.
Eyeballing crime scenes just isn't scientific.
Eyeballing crime scenes just isn't scientific.
Huh this one looks like isn't scientific.
Huh this one looks like a bunny! Huh this one looks like a bunny! (squealing, smacking lips) a bunny! (squealing, smacking lips) (dramatic music) (squealing, smacking lips) (dramatic music) This city is full of animals.
(dramatic music) This city is full of animals.
Listen, "grundel chum," what This city is full of animals.
Listen, "grundel chum," what are we supposed to do? Listen, "grundel chum," what are we supposed to do? We're trying to get criminals are we supposed to do? We're trying to get criminals off the streets here.
We're trying to get criminals off the streets here.
Yeah, that's exactly the off the streets here.
Yeah, that's exactly the problem.
Yeah, that's exactly the problem.
These techniques are great at problem.
These techniques are great at locking people up, but they're These techniques are great at locking people up, but they're terrible at figuring out what locking people up, but they're terrible at figuring out what actually happened.
terrible at figuring out what actually happened.
And that means they often get actually happened.
And that means they often get the wrong person sent to prison, And that means they often get the wrong person sent to prison, or even executed.
the wrong person sent to prison, or even executed.
Bad forensic sciences ruin lives or even executed.
Bad forensic sciences ruin lives and kill people.
Bad forensic sciences ruin lives and kill people.
Damn it! and kill people.
Damn it! You're right, again! Damn it! You're right, again! Again! You're right, again! Again! Wow, you must really hate Again! Wow, you must really hate coffee.
Wow, you must really hate coffee.
I love it.
coffee.
I love it.
I'm messed up, man.
Face it, Cormac.
All of our CSI techniques are nonsense.
All of our CSI techniques are nonsense.
And, we have no evidence against nonsense.
And, we have no evidence against this guy, and the real murderer And, we have no evidence against this guy, and the real murderer is still out there.
this guy, and the real murderer is still out there.
(sniffs) is still out there.
(sniffs) Guess you don't have to pay for (sniffs) Guess you don't have to pay for takeout, Adam.
Guess you don't have to pay for takeout, Adam.
Because you're free to go.
takeout, Adam.
Because you're free to go.
Finally.
(chuckles) Because you're free to go.
Finally.
(chuckles) Well, off to rewrite the plaques Finally.
(chuckles) Well, off to rewrite the plaques at the Natural History Museum.
Well, off to rewrite the plaques at the Natural History Museum.
Unless you could tell us at the Natural History Museum.
Unless you could tell us about a forensic science that Unless you could tell us about a forensic science that does work.
about a forensic science that does work.
(sighs) does work.
(sighs) Of course I can.
(sighs) Of course I can.
Nailed him.
News 8 is live at the crime scene, where accused murderer scene, where accused murderer and irritating know-it-all and irritating know-it-all Adam Conover delivers a Adam Conover delivers a statement.
Let's all do our best to listen to the whole thing.
Over the course of this to the whole thing.
Over the course of this episode, I have made a Over the course of this episode, I have made a compelling case against flawed episode, I have made a compelling case against flawed forensic science.
compelling case against flawed forensic science.
But, what do I know? forensic science.
But, what do I know? I am just a simple, southern But, what do I know? I am just a simple, southern lawyer.
(chuckles) I am just a simple, southern lawyer.
(chuckles) Objection.
You are clearly lawyer.
(chuckles) Objection.
You are clearly from Long Island.
Objection.
You are clearly from Long Island.
And, we're not in court.
from Long Island.
And, we're not in court.
And, you're not a lawyer.
And, we're not in court.
And, you're not a lawyer.
Ah, no, but I know someone And, you're not a lawyer.
Ah, no, but I know someone who is.
Ah, no, but I know someone who is.
Please welcome my legal counsel, who is.
Please welcome my legal counsel, Chris Fabricant.
Please welcome my legal counsel, Chris Fabricant.
Chris is a lawyer with the Chris Fabricant.
Chris is a lawyer with the Innocence Project, an organization that works to free the wrongfully convicted.
the wrongfully convicted.
Detective, there is a method Detective, there is a method of forensic investigation that of forensic investigation that is scientific.
And, it's this-- (sneezes) Oh.
It's DNA.
Oh.
It's DNA.
Get it? It's DNA.
Get it? The Innocence Project has Get it? The Innocence Project has used DNA evidence to free 330 The Innocence Project has used DNA evidence to free 330 wrongfully convicted people.
used DNA evidence to free 330 wrongfully convicted people.
And about half of those people wrongfully convicted people.
And about half of those people were put there by old, outdated And about half of those people were put there by old, outdated forensic techniques.
were put there by old, outdated forensic techniques.
Well, isn't DNA evidence just forensic techniques.
Well, isn't DNA evidence just more forensic science? Well, isn't DNA evidence just more forensic science? It is, and it isn't more forensic science? It is, and it isn't infallible, but DNA evidence It is, and it isn't infallible, but DNA evidence was actually developed in a infallible, but DNA evidence was actually developed in a laboratory by scientists, rather was actually developed in a laboratory by scientists, rather than police officers in lab laboratory by scientists, rather than police officers in lab coats pretending to be than police officers in lab coats pretending to be scientists.
coats pretending to be scientists.
Real research was done before it scientists.
Real research was done before it was introduced into criminal Real research was done before it was introduced into criminal trials.
was introduced into criminal trials.
The Innocence Project had a trials.
The Innocence Project had a client named Ray Krone who was The Innocence Project had a client named Ray Krone who was a regular at a bar in Tucson, client named Ray Krone who was a regular at a bar in Tucson, Arizona, and the bartender where a regular at a bar in Tucson, Arizona, and the bartender where he used to drink was murdered Arizona, and the bartender where he used to drink was murdered one night.
he used to drink was murdered one night.
They had no suspects, no one night.
They had no suspects, no witnesses, and they used bite They had no suspects, no witnesses, and they used bite mark analysis to associate him witnesses, and they used bite mark analysis to associate him with that dead body.
mark analysis to associate him with that dead body.
And that was the only evidence with that dead body.
And that was the only evidence that connected him to that And that was the only evidence that connected him to that crime.
that connected him to that crime.
He spent 10 years on death row before DNA evidence exonerated him.
him.
If we want to continue to just If we want to continue to just throw everybody in prison, then the old techniques will work just fine.
If we want to catch the actual just fine.
If we want to catch the actual perpetrator, we need to stop If we want to catch the actual perpetrator, we need to stop using outdated techniques.
perpetrator, we need to stop using outdated techniques.
And start using ones that using outdated techniques.
And start using ones that have been proven to, uh, you And start using ones that have been proven to, uh, you know, work.
have been proven to, uh, you know, work.
(groaning) know, work.
(groaning) That's just-- actually, quite (groaning) That's just-- actually, quite reasonable.
That's just-- actually, quite reasonable.
I'm convinced.
reasonable.
I'm convinced.
Oh.
These are the moments I'm convinced.
Oh.
These are the moments I live for-- people reluctantly Oh.
These are the moments I live for-- people reluctantly agreeing with me.
(chuckles) I live for-- people reluctantly agreeing with me.
(chuckles) So, if you're innocent, who agreeing with me.
(chuckles) So, if you're innocent, who did it? So, if you're innocent, who did it? Yeah, who did it? did it? Yeah, who did it? (reporters muttering) Yeah, who did it? (reporters muttering) Yeah, who did it? (reporters muttering) Yeah, who did it? Oh, no one did it.
Yeah, who did it? Oh, no one did it.
The dead body was just my Oh, no one did it.
The dead body was just my producer, John.
The dead body was just my producer, John.
Oh, there he is as the producer, John.
Oh, there he is as the cameraman.
Oh, there he is as the cameraman.
Hi, John! cameraman.
Hi, John! (camera clicking) Hi, John! (camera clicking) Wait a second.
(camera clicking) Wait a second.
(echoing) Our memories just Wait a second.
(echoing) Our memories just don't work like the cameras (echoing) Our memories just don't work like the cameras recording this TV show.
don't work like the cameras recording this TV show.
Over the course of this episode, recording this TV show.
Over the course of this episode, I have made a compelling case Over the course of this episode, I have made a compelling case Are you happy now? I have made a compelling case Are you happy now? Yeah, I am, 'cause now Are you happy now? Yeah, I am, 'cause now everyone knows that, so you Yeah, I am, 'cause now everyone knows that, so you can't trick 'em anymore.
everyone knows that, so you can't trick 'em anymore.
Cop shows like yours present can't trick 'em anymore.
Cop shows like yours present forensic science as infallible.
Cop shows like yours present forensic science as infallible.
Hey, how are you doing that? forensic science as infallible.
Hey, how are you doing that? By the way, I'm not the real Hey, how are you doing that? By the way, I'm not the real Brandon.
By the way, I'm not the real Brandon.
I'm an actor.
Brandon.
I'm an actor.
Stop it! I'm an actor.
Stop it! It's a lie! Stop it! It's a lie! It's a lie! It's a lie! It's a lie! Of course! It's a lie! Of course! You faked this entire murder Of course! You faked this entire murder just to film your TV show, You faked this entire murder just to film your TV show, didn't you? just to film your TV show, didn't you? Ha, guilty as charged.
didn't you? Ha, guilty as charged.
But I only did it to inform all Ha, guilty as charged.
But I only did it to inform all of you about this important But I only did it to inform all of you about this important issue.
of you about this important issue.
You know, hey, if using police issue.
You know, hey, if using police resources to educate people is You know, hey, if using police resources to educate people is a crime, well, lock me up.
resources to educate people is a crime, well, lock me up.
(chuckles) a crime, well, lock me up.
(chuckles) (door clangs) (chuckles) (door clangs) Huh.
(door clangs) Huh.
(grunting) (distant siren wailing) Here's a fun fact.
Did you know that in Scandinavia, they actually have open air prisons.
Scandinavia, they actually have open air prisons.
(grunting) open air prisons.
(grunting) Yeah, they're quite (grunting) Yeah, they're quite successful.
Yeah, they're quite successful.
Think about it, if we were in successful.
Think about it, if we were in Finland, we could be outside Think about it, if we were in Finland, we could be outside right now.
(chuckles) Finland, we could be outside right now.
(chuckles) (grunting) right now.
(chuckles) (grunting) You know this is actually (grunting) You know this is actually much nicer than where I live.
You know this is actually much nicer than where I live.
(chuckles) much nicer than where I live.
(chuckles) (grunting) (chuckles) (grunting) Buddy, we were talking.
(grunting) Buddy, we were talking.
You tell me a fact! Next time, on "Adam Ruins Everything" "Adam Ruins Everything" It's restaurants, isn't it? It's restaurants, isn't it? Tipping is a custom we'd be Tipping is a custom we'd be better off without.
better off without.
I never! I never! 59% wasn't tuna at all.