House Judiciary on Forensics

The House Judiciary Committee held hearings to examine the state of forensic science in the United States.  The transcript is here. Written testimony was submitted as well, from Dr. Victor Weedn, G.W. University, Mr. Matthew Gamette, Lab System Director, Idaho State Police Forensic Science, Dr. David Baldwin, National Security Technologies, LLC, and Prof. Sandra Guerra […]

Culture of forensic science limits growth

The recent pre-publication draft of the PCAST report on forensic science describes faults and fixes for many forensic disciplines, including DNA, firearms, fingerprints, impression evidence, and bitemarks. Numerous stakeholders have already criticized the report on a variety of points, including that no forensic experts were on the committee, the committee ignored large amounts of research […]

A new book on forensic reform

Forensic Science Reform Protecting the Innocent Elsevier, 2017.  ISBN: 978-0-12-802719-6 Edited by Wendy J. Koen and C. Michael Bowers Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis, Max M. Houck Microscopic Hair Comparison, Max M. Houck Arson, John Lentini and Rachel Dioso-Villa Shaken Baby Syndrome, Waney Squier Bite Mark Evidence, C. Michael Bowers and Ray Krone Firearms Identification, Sarah […]

An overview of presumptive and confirmatory testing in the forensic sciences

The Amanda Knox/Raffaele Sollecito case introduced some observers to the uses and misuses of presumptive and confirmatory blood tests. The use of two stages of testing is encountered in at least two forensic disciplines:  testing for body fluids (blood, saliva, and semen), and testing for illicit drugs.  Some clinical testing also employs two-stage testing.  Focusing […]