Month November 2015

Boston Review examines the tension between forensic science and other branches of science

This article examines the flaws of many forensic science techniques in that forensic science often relies heavily on the individual judgment of examiners, is subject to the analysts’ bias, and is in tension with other sciences in that it seeks… Continue Reading →

Political Gnashing of Teeth Over Bite Mark Evidence

On Monday, the Texas Forensic Science Commission met to discuss the future of bite mark evidence. The American Board of Forensic Odontology (ABFO), the organization that certifies dentists to analyze bite mark evidence, opposes any change that would completely exclude the… Continue Reading →

Texas Reviews DNA Mixtures Cases

The Texas Forensic Science Commission announced a statewide effort to review almost 25,000 convictions involving evidence of DNA “mixtures”–DNA samples from multiple sources–dating back to 1999, as reported on this blog in September.  (The actual number of convictions ultimately in… Continue Reading →

DNA in Forensics: An Interaction of Technician Skill and Technology

Nathan Robinson discusses the recent turn of events to cause courts to second guess forensics. DNA has always been considered reliable, but when the skill of technicians and forensic scientists is called into question, what good is the technology? Read… Continue Reading →

Defendant fails to convince court that fingerprint expert’s opinions fell below Daubert standards

The defendant was charged with the federal offense of felon in possession of a firearm. The defendant sought to suppress the testimony of a fingerprint expert who opined that that “the likelihood of obtaining a fingerprint of comparable value on a… Continue Reading →

Appellate Court of Illinois denies petitioner’s claim of ineffective post-conviction counsel when counsel failed to request independent forensic testing of evidence

Petitioner was convicted in a trial of the sexual assault of his young stepdaughter at her mother’s house. The evidence at issue was a blanket, which the victim claims she spit on and wiped her hands after the defendant forced… Continue Reading →

New Drug Sentencing Law Could Increase Forensic Lab Workload

New Hampshire will likely pass a law in the next year that increases sentencing for fentanyl to that of heroin. Fentanyl accounts for over half the state’s overdose deaths this year. The law will not increase the number of cases that… Continue Reading →

A Family Member’s Curiosity Leads to a DNA Match

Twenty-five years ago Richmond Mouchon found his grandmother dead in her apartment. This year, he went to his local police station to inquire about the investigation. There he met with an officer who looked into the case and discovered that… Continue Reading →

Virgin Islands Entertains Bill For Forensic Lab That Meets National Standards

A bill to establish a forensic lab in the Virgin Islands made it out of committee on Thursday. This bill would call for a forensic lab in the Virgin Islands that would parallel labs in the United States and would match… Continue Reading →

West Virginia allows post-conviction Brady relief for a guilty plea in a case where exculpatory DNA evidence was withheld

“This Court is presented with a situation in which a defendant repeatedly requested the results of DNA testing; was incorrectly informed that such testing was not yet complete; and was presented with a time-limited plea offer that he accepted upon… Continue Reading →

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