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 a definite result, namely the identification of a particular suspect or the corroboration of a […]

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 use of bite mark evidence as forensic evidence, while conceding that bite mark evidence cannot […]

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 question may be twice that.)  The review was prompted when the FBI moved to a […]

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 handgun is usually less than 5%.” The expert explained that this probability was based on […]

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 her to perform oral sex on him. The blanket was tested by the state’s investigators […]

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 go to forensic labs, since most incidents involving mysterious substances are sent to the lab. […]

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 there was DNA that remained untested. The DNA was tested and this week David A. Roscoe […]

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 the standards established by the labs in the United States. However, funding remains elusive for this […]

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 advice of counsel. We find that the DNA results were favorable, suppressed, and material to […]