Month October 2015

City of Tulsa Will Not Audit Cases of Former Lab Analyst Accused of Lying

Following a civil settlement awarding $8 million to Sedrick Courtney, a man convicted of robbery but later exonerated by DNA evidence, the city of Tulsa announced that it will not audit all of the cases worked on by Carol Cox,… Continue Reading →

The New Republic: DNA Transfers and Impossible Suspects

Read about the various ways that DNA can be transferred and what that means for suspects of crimes, here.

New Jersey Superior Court refuses to overturn conviction that involved bitemark testimony

In State v. Fortin, the court ruled that the testimony of expert Dr. Adam Freeman was permissible, denying the defendant’s argument that his testimony was based on an unreliable database of information. The database was information Dr. Freeman had collected through… Continue Reading →

DNA and Strong Hunch Connect Serial Rapist to 1986 Abduction

A retired detective, Sgt. John Laurie, worked on an abduction case of a first-grade boy in Los Angeles in 1986. Recently, he recognized a suspect from the case on the news. He then called the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s cold case unit…. Continue Reading →

New Study on Lay Understanding of Forensic Statistics

Bill Thompson and Eryn Newman (both from UC Irvine’s Department of Criminology, Law and Society) have posted an interesting new study to SSRN. Here is the study’s abstract: Forensic scientists have come under increasing pressure to quantify the strength of… Continue Reading →

CSAFE Kickoff Event – Oct. 26-27

The CSAFE Kick-Off event will take place on October 26 and 27 in Ames, Iowa, where Iowa State University is located. The event begins on Monday at 5:30 pm with a reception and a poster session, followed by a lecture… Continue Reading →

The American Board of Forensic Odontology and Bite Mark Evidence

The ABFO remains the strongest advocacy group in favor of bite mark evidence, despite recent court decisions overturning convictions based on bite mark evidence. Learn more about the ABFO and standing of bite mark evidence in this Washington Post opinion piece.

Federal habeas proceeding in Holland v. Lackner determines that the failure of DNA analysts to testify in a rape case was harmless error under the Confrontation Clause

In 2007, petitioner Holland voluntarily provided a DNA sample to law enforcement officials to help them investigate a crime in which petitioner’s brother was a suspect. Holland was thereby connected to a 2001 sexual assault cold case. The victim was… Continue Reading →

23andMe Releases Transparency Report, Discloses Police Requests for DNA

23andMe released a Transparency Report disclosing requests by police departments for DNA data from 23andMe customers. The Report breaks down the data by geographical region and reports whether the DNA data was provided by 23andMe. At this point, only four requests have been made… Continue Reading →

New ways of interpreting DNA tests could lead to the re-investigation of hundreds of cases.

After the FBI revised protocols and statistics for DNA testing, there could be hundreds of cases that will be called into question in Williamson and Travis counties. Law enforcement officials are particularly concerned about samples where there is potentially “mixed”… Continue Reading →

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