Paradoxically, Justice Antonin Scalia has emerged as a vocal early skeptic about the risk of taint in the work of crime labs, even though he contended in 2006 that, “It should be noted at the outset that the dissent does not discuss a single case—not one—in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred in recent years, we would not have to hunt for it; the innocent’s name would be shouted from the rooftops by the abolition lobby.” It is clearer now than ever that crime labs and prosecutors’ officers do make mistakes, shameful, devastating mistakes, and that they don’t usually distinguish between capital and noncapital cases when they do so.What's the paradox? It sounds coherent to me — concern about evidence and the proper role of the court.
By the way, the original meaning of "paradox," now obsolete, was "A statement or tenet contrary to received opinion or belief, esp. one that is difficult to believe" (OED). The current meaning is "an apparently absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition, or a strongly counter-intuitive one, which investigation, analysis, or explanation may nevertheless prove to be well-founded or true" or "A proposition or statement that is (taken to be) actually self-contradictory, absurd, or intrinsically unreasonable." So, Scalia's 2 positions may be paradoxical to those who don't immediately see the coherence, as I did. Lithwick may have a point of view and assume the reader shares it, which makes "Paradoxically" an exciting segue rather than what it felt like to me — distracting nodding at the we-loathe-Scalia crowd.