In The News


2014-09-15 | Mississippi Death Row Case Faults Bite-Mark Forensics
Three days after Ms. Kemp was buried, the medical examiner had her exhumed so that Dr. West could look for bite marks using a fluorescent light method he had developed. He said he found three bites and — without showing any photographs or other evidence — testified at trial that Mr. Howard was the biter “to a reasonable medical certainty.”

2014-09-14 | Full steam ahead for FBI’s biometric NGI system
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division has announced full operational capability of its Next Generation Identification (NGI) System. The FBI’s NGI System was developed to expand the Bureau’s biometric identification capabilities, ultimately replacing its Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) in addition to adding new services and capabilities.

2014-09-10 | LAPD fingerprint backlog more than doubled in the last two years
The backlog has worsened despite an LAPD campaign to process fingerprints more effectively, including having officers rather than analysts collect fingerprints at some crime scenes. In 2012, the backlog was about 2,200 cases. Today, there are 5,455. LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese told the civilian-led Police Commission the delay was so severe that some fingerprints were now useless because the three-year deadline for prosecuting offenders had passed.

2014-09-10 | First State-Wide Deployment of DNA Software System at Arizona DPS
“The Arizona rapid DNA system can provide officers with investigative leads faster than ever before. In cases with appropriate samples, officers can perform the rapid DNA analysis and search the database in hopes of obtaining a preliminary identification of a suspect, rather than waiting weeks or months for laboratory results,” says Figarelli.

2014-09-08 | Mass spectrometry in your hand
“The opportunity in mass spectrometers is to bring the analytical power of brick and mortar laboratories into the field,” says MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) Principal Research Scientist Luis Velásquez-García. “We think we could make something the size of a smartphone that does the same analyses as much larger systems without sacrificing performance, and at a fraction of the cost. This will allow us to put mass spectrometry in many places where it can’t be done now.”

2014-09-04 | Proposal has Omaha police, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office sharing more crime lab services but not merging
The plan would consolidate some functions of the Omaha and Douglas County crime labs, but not merge the labs themselves. Mayor Jean Stothert said the deal would give taxpayers better service for their money.

2014-09-03 | Columbia police hired chemist despite warning from sheriff’s experts, Lott says
The Columbia Police Department hired a crime lab chemist in 2011, whose work is now in question, despite being told that she was not qualified, Sheriff Leon Lott said Wednesday. Brenda Frazier’s job performance has resulted in 746 cases she handled during 21/2 years with the police agency being reviewed by prosecutors and defense lawyers. Police chief Skip Holbrook relieved Frazier of her drug-testing duties on Aug. 22. She resigned three days later, and the department is no longer examining drug evidence.

2014-09-01 | Allegheny County's crime lab ranks up there with world's best
The Allegheny County crime lab can perform crime scene investigations for thousands less than other labs and complete the analysis faster. DNA work, however, takes longer and costs more, according to a study by the Forensic Science Initiative at West Virginia University's College of Business and Economics.

2014-08-29 | Your death microbiome could catch your killer
Understanding how microbes inside a dead body colonise it can help pathologists work out the time of death, where the body has been lying, and how its decomposition could affect the soil and ecology around it. Until now, research in this area has largely focused on the way that insects and microbes from a corpse's environment take up residence in putrefying flesh.

2014-08-28 | FBI readies for NGI system
According to the FBI, the system, which is incrementally replacing the Bureau’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS, will better serve its most frequent customers – law enforcement agencies checking criminal histories and fingerprints, armed forces veterans, government employees, and the FBI’s own laboratory.

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