Grits for Breakfast, nom de guerre of astute criminal justice commentator and new Director of the Innocence Project of Texas, offers its thoughts on the five junkiest junk sciences.
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… Read More Culture of forensic science limits growth
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… Read More A new book on forensic reform
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… Read More An overview of presumptive and confirmatory testing in the forensic sciences
A comment on a proposal being considered by the CFSO – draft legislation that would create an Office of Forensic Science within the Department of Justice (here is a link to the draft as of Feb. 14, 2017): Putting an office of forensic science under a law enforcement agency if a fundamentally bad idea. This… Read More Rudin on an “Office of Forensic Science”