In The News


2015-07-02 | Examining Ways to Reduce Error in Expert Forensic Testimony
Recent estimates indicate that as many as 15 of every 100 incarcerated offenders where DNA was an element in their trial may be wrongfully convicted because of misused DNA evidence matching techniques. One common reason for this error is scientifically invalid testimony on forensic evidence. A 2002 report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recommended developing methods for improving the validity of such testimony. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of expert blinding and consensus feedback to improve the validity of expert testimony, specifically in the context of forensic science.

2015-07-02 | In the future, DNA could put a face to the crime
What if finding DNA was all the police needed to know what a suspect looked like? This could become reality. Irish geneticist Dr Susan Walsh has received more than €900,000 from the US Department of Justice to develop tests to get a picture of physical appearance from DNA.

2015-07-02 | Police: Woman’s fitness watch disproved rape report
Jeannine M. Risley, 43, of Saint Petersburg, Florida, was in Lancaster for her work and was staying in the guest portion of her boss’s home in East Lampeter Township on the night of March 10. She told authorities an unknown man pulled her out of bed, attacked her in a bathroom, and raped her at knifepoint, according to charging documents filed by township police.

2015-06-30 | National Review of Forensics Underway, Could be 'Transformational'
“We expect the reports emerging from the project to encourage basic research and to contribute to improving the quality of forensic science used in the legal system,” Frankel said in an email today. “The project’s impact could be transformational for the criminal justice system, enabling the public to have confidence that the ability to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent is advanced.”

2015-06-30 | Two men serving life in prison for 1987 murder ask Md. judge to reopen case
Two of three men convicted in a grisly 1987 murder on Maryland’s Eastern Shore have asked a judge to appoint Attorney General Brian E. Frosh to take over the case after state prosecutors disclosed that new handprint evidence points to a different suspect in the case.

2015-06-30 | Fingerprint Accuracy Stays the Same Over Time
“We wanted to answer the question that has plagued law enforcement and forensic science for decades: Is fingerprint pattern persistent over time?” said Anil Jain, University Distinguished Professor, computer science and engineering, at Michigan State University. “We have now determined, with multilevel statistical modeling, that fingerprint recognition accuracy remains stable over time."

2015-06-25 | Problems At Lab Slowed Serial Killer Probe; Several Victims' DNA Found In Suspect's Van
Problems in the Connecticut state police crime lab delayed for at least four years the identification of a woman investigators think was killed by suspected serial killer William Devin Howell and hindered their ability to match several different samples of DNA found in Howell's van, The Courant has learned. The problems at the state police lab, including a significant delay in matching the DNA of bones found in 2007 with the mother of one of the victims, were acknowledged by lab officials after inquiries from The Courant.

2015-06-25 | Crime lab board gets new member: Anthony Graves
A man who spent almost 20 years in prison - including 12 on death row - for murders he did not commit will now help oversee the city of Houston's new crime lab. On Wednesday, Anthony Graves was appointed to the board of the Houston Forensic Science Center.

2015-06-24 | Detectives use fingerprints from photo of suspect’s hand to ID him in child porn case
Trailblazing agents in Sarasota County used fingerprints from a photograph of a suspect's hand to identify him as the creep seen sexually abusing a 1-year-old boy in incriminating images found on his confiscated cell phone.

2015-06-18 | Fragmentation of cases may mean missing part of the puzzle
What this means is different exhibits from a case are sent to different laboratories and no one forensic scientist maintains an overview of what is happening. Such cases are managed by the Police rather than forensic scientists and the argument is that the Police may not fully understand the importance of the results or may be more swayed by need to restrict the spend rather than the need to produce a full set of results. This concern was highlighted in the 2013 Science and Technology Committee report ‘Forensic Science‘ and in a case report from Forensic Access.

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