Grits for Breakfast, nom de guerre of astute criminal justice commentator and new Director of the Innocence Project of Texas, offers its thoughts on the five junkiest junk sciences.
The recent pre-publication draft of the PCAST report on forensic science describes faults and fixes for many forensic disciplines, including DNA, firearms, fingerprints, impression evidence, and bitemarks. Numerous stakeholders have already criticized the report on a variety of points, including that no forensic experts were on the committee, the committee ignored large amounts of research… Read More Culture of forensic science limits growth
Forensic Science Reform Protecting the Innocent Elsevier, 2017. ISBN: 978-0-12-802719-6 Edited by Wendy J. Koen and C. Michael Bowers Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis, Max M. Houck Microscopic Hair Comparison, Max M. Houck Arson, John Lentini and Rachel Dioso-Villa Shaken Baby Syndrome, Waney Squier Bite Mark Evidence, C. Michael Bowers and Ray Krone Firearms Identification, Sarah… Read More A new book on forensic reform
The Amanda Knox/Raffaele Sollecito case introduced some observers to the uses and misuses of presumptive and confirmatory blood tests. The use of two stages of testing is encountered in at least two forensic disciplines: testing for body fluids (blood, saliva, and semen), and testing for illicit drugs. Some clinical testing also employs two-stage testing. Focusing… Read More An overview of presumptive and confirmatory testing in the forensic sciences
A comment on a proposal being considered by the CFSO – draft legislation that would create an Office of Forensic Science within the Department of Justice (here is a link to the draft as of Feb. 14, 2017): Putting an office of forensic science under a law enforcement agency if a fundamentally bad idea. This… Read More Rudin on an “Office of Forensic Science”
“The mission of the Office of Forensic Science is to strengthen and promote the use of forensic science within the judicial system by supporting forensic science service providers, as they continually improve the validity, quality, and practice of forensic science through innovative solutions that focus on research and development, testing and evaluation, technology, information exchange, training and capacity building… Read More DOJ proposed to create and Office of Forensic Science and Forensic Science Board within the Department
Dr. Greg Hampikian, a professor in criminal justice and biology at Boise State University, came to the aid of Daryl Pinkins and Roosevelt Glen. Pinkins and Glen were sentenced to a combined 101 years in prison after they were wrongly convicted of rape. During the initial trial, the pair were excluded as potential DNA matches, but the… Read More Idaho Innocence Project Employs New Forensics Technique to Exonerate Two Men