Federal District Court of Northern Michigan denies habeas relief to defendant alleging mistaken blood-typing testimony

Karl Vinson was convicted in 1986 for breaking and entering as well as raping a nine-year-old child. The victim had positively identified Vinson as her attacker and knew Vinson prior to the attack. No evidence was presented that demonstrated any reason for the victim to lie about her identification. Vinson also produced evidence of an… Read More Federal District Court of Northern Michigan denies habeas relief to defendant alleging mistaken blood-typing testimony

National Institute of Standards and Technology’s conference on technology held in November is now online

Jules Epstein, a professor and the director of advocacy programs at the Temple University Beasley School of Law and a member of the National Commission on Forensic Science, was the keynote speaker for the conference and called on both scientists and legal professionals to change their practices regarding forensic science in order to avoid miscarriages… Read More National Institute of Standards and Technology’s conference on technology held in November is now online

Travis County judges sign letter calling for Austin to open an independent DNA lab that is separate from the police department

Earlier this year, an audit was highly critical of the Austin Police Department DNA lab, alleging that researchers were not following the manufacturer’s instructions while using a certain lab chemical, were using outdated and unreliable techniques, and had contaminated a sample in at least one sexual assault case. The lab has since closed and Travis… Read More Travis County judges sign letter calling for Austin to open an independent DNA lab that is separate from the police department

Single-source DNA is currently the only forensic science that is valid, foundationally as well as applied

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recently released a report calling attention to serious problems in the area of forensic science currently used in courtrooms. Jessica Cino, a law professor at Georgia State University in the area of forensic science, explained the two types of validity that a forensic science should… Read More Single-source DNA is currently the only forensic science that is valid, foundationally as well as applied

Professor Garrett suggests potential ground rules to address convictions that result from unreliable forensic evidence

Other than DNA testing, almost all of the currently used forensic sciences have not been rigorously tested and supported by scientific principles. In spite of this, prosecutors and judges continue to allow forensic experts to testify based on sciences that may later prove to be unreliable. When hair comparison analysis was found to be unreliable… Read More Professor Garrett suggests potential ground rules to address convictions that result from unreliable forensic evidence