Breath Tests in NJ

Breath test results in New Jersey, presented as evidence supporting more than 20,000 convictions, have been ruled inadmissible by the New Jersey Supreme Court. The Alcotest-brand breath tests, which according to the court were generally admissible if properly used, require calibration every six months. The police officer formerly responsible for calibrating the tests across five […]

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Firearm “Fingerprint”?

This piece describes how in response to gun crime, “A new machine, on loan from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms … scans spent bullet casings from crime scenes” and enters them into a national database.  “Spent shells are loaded into the machine, and up comes 3-D scans of the unique scuffs and divots […]

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Roberts Exoneration

Earlier this month, Horace Roberts was exonerated after two decades of wrongful imprisonment. Roberts had been convicted of a 1998 murder. A watch had been found near the crime scene, and when police showed Roberts a picture of it, he stated that he thought it was his. Later, however, a similar watch was found at Roberts’s […]

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Siggers’ Firearms Exoneration

Darrell Siggers was released from prison in August after his conviction for a 1984 murder was vacated, but just last week prosecutors decided not to seek a new trial. He has maintained his innocence since he was accused of the murder three decades ago. In Siggers’s 1984 trial, an expert in the Detroit Police Crime Lab […]

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Henning and Birch Cases in CT

The Connecticut Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in the cases of Shawn Henning and Ralph Birch. The two men, convicted of murder in 1989, seek vacatur of their convictions based on (1) recent DNA test results that exclude them and (2) evidence that the testimony of a forensic scientist, Henry Lee, was false. […]

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Dangers of DNA Testing Op-ed

Last month, Professor Greg Hampikan of Boise State University wrote an op-ed in the New York Times titled “The Dangers of DNA Testing.” Hampikan described a recently-published NIST study of US and Canadian crime labs that gave them a fictionalized crime and DNA mixture to analyze that contained DNA from two of three suspects. Over […]

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Amicus Brief in Long v. Hooks

Today, a group of amici scholars representing a variety of disciplines, including law, ethics, forensic science, medicine, and statistics, filed an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals case of Long v. Hooks.  The brief can be read here: 18-6980, Long v. Hooks, Amici Curiae Brief in Support Appellant Summarizing the argument, the […]

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