Defendant whose conviction was thrown out as a result of the Dookhan drug lab scandal will not get refunded for court fees and probation costs

A man whose conviction was thrown out amidst the Dookhan drug lab scandal was not able to recover court costs and probation fees. Because the case was sent for retrial and  dismissed, rather than being overturned on appeal, he cannot get the court costs refunded. The court also determined that because probation fees were paying […]

Read More Defendant whose conviction was thrown out as a result of the Dookhan drug lab scandal will not get refunded for court fees and probation costs

Texas forensics highs and lows

In Austin, the fallout continues from the Austin PD crime lab’s DNA lab, which  was shuttered this summer after a damning state audit found that analysts were using outdated techniques.  The closure has meant that people are sitting in jail longer as cases are delayed awaiting test results.  At least one sexual assault case has […]

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Supreme Judicial Court questions whether to provide a blanket dismissal to the 24,000 convictions in which Dookhan was involved

The Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts is grappling whether a blanket dismissal its warranted for all of the approximately 24,000 convictions in which former drug chemist Annie Dookhan was involved. Defense attorneys, joined by attorneys from the ACLU of Massachusetts, argued that remedies for potentially affected defendants have been slow and ineffective. Additionally, evaluating each […]

Read More Supreme Judicial Court questions whether to provide a blanket dismissal to the 24,000 convictions in which Dookhan was involved

Forensics and Fallibility

Greg Mitchell and I just posted on SSRN, here, an essay titled “Forensics and Fallibility: Comparing the Views of Lawyers and Judges,” forthcoming in West Virginia Law Review, Vol. 119, 2016. Here is the abstract: Forensic evidence plays an increasingly prominent role in criminal practice, leading some to worry that depictions in popular media might make […]

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Forensics@NIST Conference Nov. 8-9

Featuring Keynote Jules Epstein, Professor of Law and Director of Advocacy Programs Temple Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia. Professor Epstein is a member of the National Commission on Forensic Science, has worked on two DNA workgroups and in capital case trainings for the National Institute of Justice, and on a working group on latent print […]

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Questions about ballistics evidence arise in Aaron Hernandez case

After the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology condemned the use of ballistics evidence in courtrooms, Aaron Hernandez’s defense attorneys filed a motion to exclude expert testimony related to ballistics, citing PCAST’s report. The report calls for judges to be better gatekeepers in deciding what kind of evidence should be presented to a jury. […]

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