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2016-06-15 | Prosecutors Misrepresented Forensic Evidence in ‘Beatrice 6’ Case, Scientist Testifies
White was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. The other five pleaded guilty and were sentenced to shorter terms in prison. But DNA testing in 2007 determined that Bruce Allen Smith was the lone rapist and killer of Wilson. Smith died in Oklahoma in 1992. The Beatrice 6 – White, Winslow, Gonzalez, and also Ada JoAnn Taylor, James Dean, and Debra Shelden – were eventually released and completely cleared of the crime in 2009.

2016-06-14 | DNA samples in Travis County cases will undergo extra scrutiny
On Monday, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office said they have hired a leading expert in forensic DNA to review all casework by the APD DNA lab before the plea or trial of pending cases. Last week, APD suspended operations at its DNA lab after an audit conducted by the Texas Forensic Science Commission determined the lab did not have enough properly trained staff. The report also indicated the lab was not up to date on standard protocols.

2016-06-13 | Austin Crime Lab Shut Down Over 'Concerns'
The Austin Police Department is closing for most of the rest of the year, as it revamps its system of DNA analysis, according to officials. The shutdown will last four to six months, and will involve new training, certification, re-certification, auditing, and the hiring of a new lab director, Chief Art Acevedo announced at a Friday press conference.

2016-06-10 | When DNA Implicates the Innocent
In December 2012 a homeless man named Lukis Anderson was charged with the murder of Raveesh Kumra, a Silicon Valley multimillionaire, based on DNA evidence. The charge carried a possible death sentence. But Anderson was not guilty. He had a rock-solid alibi: drunk and nearly comatose, Anderson had been hospitalized—and under constant medical supervision—the night of the murder in November. Later his legal team learned his DNA made its way to the crime scene by way of the paramedics who had arrived at Kumra's residence. They had treated Anderson earlier on the same day—inadvertently “planting” the evidence at the crime scene more than three hours later.

2016-06-10 | How 19-year-old CNY man landed in jail for 5 days for a shooting he didn't do
Five days later, authorities released Robinson from jail and soon expect to drop the charges. It turns out the witness made a mistake in identifying him, according to a top Onondaga County prosecutor and Robinson's lawyer. "I expect the charges to be dismissed as soon as we can get in front of a judge," First Chief Assistant District Attorney Domenic Trunfio said.

2016-06-06 | Blood Markers Could Help Point CSIs in the Right Direction
But what if there were quick tests done in real-time, to narrow down the search? Diagnostics that could point to the kind of person being sought, whether it’s a young woman, or old man – or even what time a blood sample was deposited?

2016-06-06 | PROPOSAL COULD HIDE FORENSIC FAILURES FROM PUBLIC
The I-Team found a culture of law and disorder at state police crime labs last fall. We obtained internal audits and reports that revealed blood and urine testing errors and bad testing methods that jeopardized criminal cases. Now, legislation headed to Gov. Bruce Rauner would allow state police officials to make up their own rules and keep such information from defendants and the public.

2016-06-05 | DNA’s Dirty Little Secret A forensic tool renowned for exonerating the innocent may actually be putting them in prison.
Once the San Francisco crime lab had completed its analysis, police ran it against California’s offender database, which at the time contained DNA profiles of 338,000 convicted sex offenders and violent criminals. One name turned up: John Puckett. Puckett had not been a suspect during the original 1972 investigation, and detectives didn’t bother looking into any of the twenty men who were. Instead, they relied wholly on the DNA match.

2016-06-05 | The Dark Side of DNA Databases
According to the standard method of computing how often one might expect to encounter a particular DNA profile in the population at large—what is known as the “random match probability”—if you plucked a non-Hispanic white person at random from the population, there would be only a 1 in 754 million chance of finding that profile. For African Americans, the number was 1 in 561 billion. And yet here, in a database of less than 100,000 people, it was appearing twice—and in people of different races.

2016-06-03 | Justice Dept. Issues Draft Guidance to Forensic Experts
The Justice Department is issuing draft guidance for forensic experts at the FBI and other of its component agencies. The documents released Friday are meant to clarify what forensic experts can and not say while testifying at trial or preparing scientific reports.

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