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 as lacking scientific validity. It also specifically pointed to firearms tracing and the science’s lack […]

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: It is “vague” about how plans for police to secure forensic services from private contractors, […]

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 than hair proteins, so that scientists may have an easier time identifying deceased individuals by […]

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 simply answered that he stands by his previous testimony. Defense attorney and Director of Strategic […]

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 to cross-examination as well as evaluation by the Court. Many accrediting bodies consisting of world-renowned […]

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 involved shootings.  However, an outside audit earlier this summer detailed the opposite problem – too much […]

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 draft review by the advisory council of scientists and engineers. It is expected to be […]