Authorities have used DNA databases to search for partial matches in order to solve cold cases. The idea is that these partial matches are likely relatives of the suspect and authorities can focus on investigating relatives of any partial matches. This technique was used to catch an elusive serial killer nicknamed “The Grim Sleeper” in California.… Read More Controversial use of familial DNA searches helps lead to finds in cold cases
A judge in New York ruled to exclude DNA evidence from the trial of Oral Nicholas Hillary for allegedly strangling his ex-girlfriend’s 12-year-old son. The DNA evidence consisted of a mixed DNA sample collected from underneath the victim’s fingernails, and the sample was analyzed using the STRmix program. The judge refused to admit the evidence at… Read More NY Court excludes mixed sample DNA evidence from murder trial
Stephen Cooper writes here in Counterpunch about the DOJ’s rejection of certain recommendations in the White House P-Cast report. He begins: “Compassionate Americans concerned about the plight of wrongfully convicted citizens – folks who want our criminal justice system to operate fairly and accurately – should be outraged by the Department of Justice’s pigheaded rejection… Read More S. Cooper on the DOJ & P-Cast
Researchers are developing methods to analyze proteins in strands of hair as a new method of identification in forensic sciences. The process aims to be more objective than hair microscopy, a technique that has been found to be highly unreliable and has resulted in many wrongful convictions. The news article does not address whether such… Read More Researchers seek to use hair protein analysis as a more reliable alternative to hair microscopy
At the Wash. Post’s True Crime blog, I posted this piece explaining the importance of the White House P-CAST report recommendations.
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 as lacking scientific validity. It also specifically pointed to firearms tracing and the science’s lack… Read More White House report urges courts to reconsider use of certain kinds of forensic evidence in criminal trials
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: It is “vague” about how plans for police to secure forensic services from private contractors,… Read More Members of Parliament in the UK criticize the new Forensic Science Strategy for being too vague