In The News


2016-04-28 | US House Unanimously Passed Bill Requiring Warrants for Email
The Email Privacy Act unwinds a President Ronald Reagan-era law that allows authorities to access e-mail and data from service providers without a warrant if the message or data is at least 180 days old. The 1986 e-mail privacy law, adopted when CompuServe was king, considered cloud-stored e-mail and other documents older than six months to be abandoned and ripe for the taking

2016-04-28 | Secondary DNA Transfers Questioned in Cold Case Murder Trial
But defense attorney Gina Capuano cross-examined the DNA analyst. Her questioning this week at trial indicated that the DNA could conceivably have come from secondary transfer – from spit in a highly-trafficked area, for instance – that was found on Hanible’s sneaker heel. The mixture reportedly came from as many as three people, at least one male.

2016-04-27 | DNA-Mixture Analysis Exonerates Wrongly Convicted Man in Indiana
The first trial for Pinkins and Roosevelt Glenn in 1990 had ended in a mistrial, due to DNA evidence that excluded them as contributors to the genetic mixture. But at a second trial, they were convicted based mostly off of serological evidence – blood types and other biomarkers, according to Greg Hampikian, a professor of biology and criminal justice administration at Boise State University, who works with the Idaho Innocence Project.

2016-04-27 | Researchers ‘Unpick’ the Flawed FBI Hair Evidence
Half a dozen witnesses testified that Santae Tribble was sleeping at his mother’s home in Maryland the day a 63-year-old cab driver was shot and killed in Washington D.C. in 1978. Nevertheless, two years later, an FBI expert testified that Tribble’s hair matched hair found at the scene “in all microscopic characteristics,” according to an Innocence Project report. The prosecution emphasized the “one chance in ten million” statistic that the hair did not come from the accused.

2016-04-25 | DNA-Mixture Analysis Exonerates Wrongly Convicted Man in Indiana
A man who served 24 years in prison for a rape conviction was exonerated and released today – the first of its kind based on the latest DNA-mixture analysis methods.

2016-04-19 | Why it’s so hard to keep bad forensics out of the courtroom
“An innocent person was convicted of a heinous crime he did not commit,” Kaufman wrote. “Science helped convict him. Science exonerated him.” DNA testing cleared Morin, but Kaufman’s inquiry into what went wrong poked giant holes in the reliability of the hair and fibre comparison evidence that was the basis of the jury’s guilty finding. Kaufman set his sights squarely on flawed forensic science, and the system that propped it up. His goal: to prevent a similar mistake from happening again.

2016-04-14 | DNA Exonerates Man Convicted on Bite-Mark Evidence, 33 Years Later
Harward was locked up in 1983, after being convicted of the four criminal counts. Harward had been a sailor on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson at the time. Even though he was 26 and had a moustache (an eyewitness description pegged the killer as 19 or 20 and clean-shaven), he was convicted based on bite marks on the surviving woman’s legs. Two forensic odontologists told the jury the marks conclusively came from Harward.

2016-04-07 | Lawmakers set aside more money for new crime lab
Right now there is $2.1 million set aside for planning and design. We're told they'll need over 30 millions dollars to build the facility. It's projected to be finished in early 2019.

2016-03-30 | Lifting Impossible Prints
We believed that the best HDR image met AFIS standards and on November 6, 2014 we submitted the laser-HDR images to NOVARIS. On the same day, we received notification that the ridges provided a conclusive match with a print from Aaron Hijjnalike Thomas, sometimes referred to as the “East Coast Rapist.” He was already serving three life terms, plus 80 years, for a multiple rape conviction in Prince William County, Virginia and had been further sentenced in March 2013 to two additional life terms for other rapes in Loudoun County, Virginia. Based on this fact, the prosecutor, in consultation with the victim, decided not to pursue the case further. Most importantly, however, Detective Hinson was able to provide closure for the victim in this case with the knowledge that her perpetrator was incarcerated with zero possibility of parole release.

2016-03-29 | DOJ: Review of FBI Evidence to Cover All Pattern-Based Disciplines
Similar overstatements—discovered last year in testimony regarding microscopic hair comparisons dating back decades—may have “crept” into other disciplines, Yates said. Disciplines like fingerprint examinations, ballistic measurements and fiber analysis. “The probative value of the evidence wasn’t always communicated,” Yates said, and that lack of communication may have led to wrongful convictions. The cases involve 46 states and include 32 defendants that were sentenced to death, according to reports.

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