In The News


2014-01-15 | Biomarkers Leave Gender Clues at Crime Scene
Narrowing the pool of potential suspects early on in their investigations can give the police the upper hand. However, traditional DNA analysis requires laboratory conditions, sophisticated equipment and time. Rapid, simple, on-site analysis of blood left behind at a crime scene may provide investigators with a head start to quickly identify a group of possible suspects or rule out others.

2014-01-14 | More Fake Evidence? Convicted Omaha Murderer Claims CSI Planted Evidence
In 2007 Edwards was convicted of murdering his teenage girlfriend, Jessica O’Grady. Her body has never been found. Prosecutors successfully used a wide array of forensic science to indicate O’Grady had been hacked to death in Edwards’ bedroom with an ornamental sword. Authorities speculated he used his car to move the body to another location. Since the original guilty verdict, David Kofoed, the lead crime scene investigator, was convicted of tampering with evidence collected in another homicide investigation.

2014-01-14 | Twin DNA test: Why identical criminals may no longer be safe
It's well known that identical twins are not totally identical - they can, usually, be told apart, after all. But up to now it has been almost impossible to distinguish their DNA. It's claimed that a new test can do it quickly and affordably, however - and this could help police solve a number of crimes.

2013-12-27 | Rape Victims Sue Police Over Decade-Long Rape Kit Backlog
Some victims say they have waited more than 10 years for the city to process their rape kits, which they say is a violation of their civil rights. The victims argue they have the right to file suit against the police department because it violated their rights to equal protection as granted under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by not processing the rape kits in a timely manner.

2013-12-19 | Gotcha! FBI launches new biometric systems to nail criminals
Nearly 80 years after it began collecting fingerprints on index cards as a way to identify criminals, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is moving to a new system that improves the accuracy and performance of its existing setup while adding more biometrics. By adding palm print, face and iris image search capabilities, the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) hopes to improve the accuracy of identity searches, make it easier to positively identify and track criminals as they move through the criminal justice system and provide a wider range of tools for crime scene investigators.

2013-12-18 | State police analyze backlog of 4,000 rape kits
Three years ago, after learning that numerous police departments were failing to take a basic first investigative step and analyze DNA evidence from reported sex crimes, Illinois became the first state to mandate testing, even in older cases in which rape kits had sat untested for years.

2013-12-12 | Fingerprint match leads to arrest in 2-year-old Olympia gas station robbery attempt
Latent fingerprints taken from a counter top more than two years ago after an attempted armed robbery at the 76 gas station on Pacific Avenue in Olympia led to Tuesday's arrest of a 22-year-old man in connection with the crime.

2013-12-10 | Genetic Differences between 'Identical' Twins Discovered
Eurofins Scientific, a European leader in Genomics Services, Forensics and Paternity Testing, has announced a milestone in genetic and forensic research. A multidisciplinary Eurofins team in the Eurofins flagship Genomics laboratory in Ebersberg, Germany, has successfully completed a research project to genetically discriminate “identical” monozygotic twins. So far there have been only theoretical considerations against the experimental finding and dogma that monozygotic twins are genetically fully identical. Statistically, around 6 of 1,000 males are identical twins. Up to now, forensic DNA fingerprinting testing could not be used in crime or paternity cases involving identical twins, as there was no possibility of genetically discriminating between them. Such cases are regularly discussed in the World’s press, including murder, child custody and heritage cases.

2013-11-03 | Study of Victim Experiences of Wrongful Conviction
Over the past three decades, the rate of exonerations has more than doubled, growing from an average of 24 per year from 1989 through 1999 to an average of 52 per year from 2000 through 2010 (Gross & Shaffer, 2012). While significant strides have been made to identify and assist wrongfully convicted individuals in gaining their freedom and transitioning to life after exoneration, little is known about the experiences of victims during this process.

2013-10-30 | Oakland Police Have Prioritized Drug Crimes Over Homicides
OPD crime lab director Mary Gibbons informed the city council's Public Safety Committee last month that the department had 659 homicide cases in which it still had evidence that needed testing. Furthermore, homicide investigations are in such disarray that the lab has no idea which of the cases with unexamined evidence have been closed or adjudicated. Gibbons also presented a report that made it clear OPD's crime lab has been running at below capacity for the past seven years. "Some of these cases are very, very old. Whether they've been adjudicated or not, no one's bothered to tell us," she said.

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