Month September 2016

Op-ed on PCAST Report

At the Wash. Post’s True Crime blog, I posted this piece explaining the importance of the White House P-CAST report recommendations.

White House report urges courts to reconsider use of certain kinds of forensic evidence in criminal trials

In its report, the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology urging judges to reconsider admitting certain types of forensic science in the courtroom. In particular, the court criticized “feature-comparison” techniques like bite-mark comparison and tire tread mark comparison… Continue Reading →

Members of Parliament in the UK criticize the new Forensic Science Strategy for being too vague

Members of Parliament have criticized the Forensic Science Strategy that was created by the Home Office because the strategy fails to provide a clear, coherent vision and a clear for how to implement this vision.  Other criticisms from parliament include:… Continue Reading →

Identification by hair proteins could one day rival identification by DNA

New research shows that individuals have unique hair proteins that could provide an alternate method of identification for forensic scientists. One benefit to using hair protein identification rather than DNA testing is that DNA can degrade over time more quickly… Continue Reading →

Infamous bite-mark “expert” Michael West complains about not being paid at a deposition and calls Innocence Project director a “sociopath”

In an April deposition for a Mississippi death penalty case involving defendant Eddie Lee Howard, Michael West was asked to testify about his expert opinion provided in a trial more than two decades ago. West frequently refused to answer questions and… Continue Reading →

L.A. Times on PCast

For news coverage of the forthcoming PCAST report, see this L.A. Times story: “In what is likely to be its most controversial finding, the report states that analysis linking firearms to bullets and shell casings ‘falls short’ of scientific standards for… Continue Reading →

Bowers on the NDAA on PCAST

For a response to the NDAA’s letter regarding the forthcoming PCAST report, read Dr. Michael Bowers’ blog here.

Response of NDAA to PCAST Press Conference

Read here the response of the National District Attorney’s Association to the not-yet-released President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report on forensics. The NDAA emphasizes: “As with all evidence presented in criminal courts, this forensic scientific evidence is subject… Continue Reading →

Independence of Houston Crime Scene Investigations

The Houston Police Department is apparently making a “behind closed doors” push to regain control over the independent HFSC’s crime scene investigation unit, according to the Houston Chronicle.  One concern has apparently been with the quality of investigations of officer… Continue Reading →

Presidential Advisory Council comments on the validity of forensic sciences in criminal trials

“It has become increasingly clear in recent years that lack of rigor in the assessment of the scientific validity of forensic evidence is not just a hypothetical problem but a real and significant weakness in the judicial system,” said the… Continue Reading →

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