In The News


2017-03-05 | New fingerprint searches in unsolved cases can solve violent crimes
Entering old prints has helped solve cases elsewhere too. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, as part of a cold case project, were able to identify more than 150 prints from crime scenes, including the print of a man later arrested in 2014 for the rape and killing of Amber Creek, a 14-year-old who ran away from a Chicago shelter in 1997 and was found strangled in a remote area of Wisconsin.

2017-02-27 | Orlando fingerprint examiner suspended, 2,600 cases possibly affected in latest police lab scandal
A fingerprint examiner for the Orange County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office, who worked more than 2,600 cases dating to 2001, has been removed from duty for reasons that aren’t totally clear. After prosecutors discovered that he was no longer working fingerprints, they also found that he’d been removed five months earlier and that the sheriff’s office hadn’t notified them.

2017-02-19 | Hundreds of criminals have cases reviewed after forensic lab 'manipulation'
Police are reviewing nearly 500 criminal cases after a forensic lab used by forces across the UK discovered "data manipulation" at their Manchester site. Two men aged 47 and 31, who had worked for Randox Testing Services for three years, have been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. Some 484 cases handled by the lab will now be reviewed in an effort to determine whether compromised data played a part in prosecution.

2017-02-16 | Police Department in Dallas Loses Years of Evidence After Cyberattack
In early January, Collin Beggs, a criminal defense lawyer in Dallas, was talking with a Dallas County prosecutor about police video evidence that he'd been trying to get for months on behalf of one of his clients. The prosecutor explained that he wouldn't be receiving the video evidence he needed as part of a case involving the Cockrell Hill Police Department, which serves a town of about 4,300 people near Dallas. The reason? "They got hacked by Russians," Beggs tells Mother Jones, "and they held them up for ransom and took all their stuff. They didn't pay to get it back, so they lost all their videos.'"

2017-02-14 | Keith Harward lashes out at field of forensic dentistry that helped wrongly convict him
Since Harward’s 1983 and 1986 trials, bite mark evidence has been questioned and undermined by numerous studies, and erroneous bite mark analyses have played a part in at least 28 wrongful convictions and arrests across the country. Chris Fabricant, one of Harward’s lawyers with the Innocence Project, also spoke at the workshop and outlined Harward’s case. “We know from our experience that any conviction that rests on bite mark evidence is inherently unreliable. It’s just reality.”

2017-02-14 | McGovern: DA fighting for twin’s DNA test to be accepted in trial
New twin-splitting technology is being put to the test for the first time ever in a Hub courtroom this week, and Suffolk prosecutors hope the new-age science can finally help solve a pair of rapes that occurred nearly 15 years ago. An old DNA test couldn’t separate the chief suspect in the case, Dwayne McNair, from his identical twin brother, Dwight McNair. That issue put Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley in a tight spot, and in 2014 he temporarily dropped charges stemming from a pair of 2004 rapes so he could see if a new test developed in Germany would work.

2017-02-09 | Insufficient Funding for Forensic Science Puts Justice at Risk
"Progress has been made, but some forces say they can’t afford to deliver both operational work and the required standards of forensic science. The standards are not an unachievable “gold-plated” ideal - they are the minimum standards expected of any reliable forensic science."

2017-02-09 | European Agency Releases Forensic DNA Guide
The report makes reference to landmark cases including cases where DNA has been a game changer - helping to catch prolific serial killer Gary Ridgway - and where it has caused miscarriages of justice - Adam Scott being detained and charged with rape due to a contamination error whilst subsequent phone records placed him in a different city at the time of the crime.

2017-02-08 | New $90M Alaskan Crime Lab Falls Short, Says Audit
A $90 million crime lab was built in 2012 with the promise of improving forensic services throughout the state known as “the Last Frontier.” However, a newly released audit of the facility finds that no further services are being offered, many are outsourced to other states—and backlogs exist in virtually all disciplines at the Anchorage site.

2017-02-06 | More than 2,600 Orlando-area lawyers get letters warning about fingerprint expert
The Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office has sent more than 2,600 letters to Orlando-area defense attorneys, warning them that their clients may have been harmed by a fingerprint expert who made mistakes. The defendants involved include Casey Anthony, acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, and death-row inmate Bessman Okafor, convicted of murdering a man in 2012 to keep him from testifying at Okafor’s trial. At issue is whether any suspects were wrongly arrested, convicted, jailed or punished because of the work of Marco Palacio, a 18-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

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