The Dookhan Mess

The Boston Globe describes why the Massachusetts drug-lab mess persists.  “Incredibly, more than four years after Dookhan’s crimes were first uncovered… Thousands of those whose lives were affected haven’t been notified of their rights, including the possibility of a new trial. Many still have no idea they are Dookhan defendants.”  Apparently, “none of the prosecutors […]

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Researchers in Genomics hope to be able to recreate a person’s physical characteristics based on a DNA sample

Currently, DNA profiles only provide certain markers of identity in a graph-like format but tell little about the suspect himself. Researchers in Genomics hope to be able to tell criminal investigators physical characteristics and traits of suspects based on their genetic profile so that investigators can help pinpoint suspects based on their hair color, eye […]

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Houston Lab Introduces Blind Quality Controls for Toxicology

Last year, city officials officially closed the Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory and created in its place an independent forensic lab called the Houston Forensic Science Center.  The new lab caused quite a stir at national meetings in Washington recently when it announced that it would begin blind quality control testing in its toxicology section.  Blind quality control is […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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