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Including Flawed Expert Opinion

Lawmakers in California have moved to prevent the use of 'junk science' in the courtroom, according to the Associated Press.

It adds state senators there have voted to change the definition of false testimony to include expert opinions based on flawed or outdated information or technology. To be admissible in court, expert opinions would have to be based on peer-reviewed studies or other accepted science, the AP says.

"This bill gives judges stronger tools to prevent junk science from coming into our courtrooms," Scott Wiener, a Democratic state senator who wrote the bill, tells it.

The AP adds that the California Innocence Project, which pushed for the bill along with other similar groups, says flawed forensic science affects a number of cases, including 45 percent of all DNA-based exonerations and about a quarter of all exonerations in the US. Additionally, the National Academy of Science has found that jurors, drawing on TV shows like CSI, tend to have unrealistic expectations of forensic science, according to the AP.

The bill, which has been sent to the state assembly, would also allow previously convicted people to appeal if they were convicted on discredited testimony, it adds.