AAAS Responds to Justice Department Fingerprint Guidelines

The American Association for the Advancement of Science released a letter and an article inviting the Department of Justice to build on its recent approval  of “Uniform Language for Testimony and Reports” to be used by its forensic examiners in  statements about analyses of forensic latent fingerprint evidence conducted in its labs. AAAS CEO Rush Holt stated, “some of the […]

A Special Investigation into a Conviction by Toolmark Comparison

The Nation conducted a special investigation into the investigation and trial of Jimmy Genrich, a man whose “fate hung on the [analysis of] toolmarks, the only physical evidence that connected him to” a series of fatal bombings in Colorado. The investigation concludes that “Genrich’s case reveals a system that makes it nearly impossible to throw […]

OSAC Lexicon – online dictionary for forensics

A new registry of terms used in forensics and definitions – here – e.g. here are ten different definitions of “identification” : Identification  In computer forensics, a process involving the search for, recognition and documentation of potential digital evidenceDigital Evidence, Facial Identification, Video/Imaging Technology & Analysis (Digital / Multimedia) 02/23/18 Identification  In facial identification, a […]

Grisham on Flawed Forensics – Read the Transcript

John Grisham wrote a powerful op-ed, here, today in the L.A Times, discussing causes of wrongful convictions, including flawed forensic evidence.  He notes, citing to data that I’ve collected, that “Of the 330 people exonerated by DNA tests between 1989 and 2015, 71% were convicted based on forensic testimony, much of which was flawed, unreliable, […]

March 26 Forensics, Statistics and Law conference at UVA

Experts in forensics, statistics and the law will convene for a conference at the University of Virginia School of Law on March 26 to mark the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., which reshaped how judges evaluate scientific and expert evidence. Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. […]

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist

Read Tim Requarth’s piece in Slate here about the gripping and important new book by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington.  Requarth quotes from the book: The primary antagonists in this story are Steven Hayne, the state’s former de facto medical examiner, and Michael West, a prolific forensic dentist. A third is the state of Mississippi […]

DOJ Approved Uniform Language for Latent Fingerprint Comparisons

On February 21, the DOJ released this document, setting out uniform language for latent print comparisons.  It sets out definitions for source identification, inconclusive and exclusion conclusions and sets out certain qualifications and limitations.  Below are excerpts. Source Identification ‘Source identification’ is an examiner’s conclusion that two friction ridge skin impressions originated from the same […]

Forensics, Statistics and Law Conference at the University of Virginia School of Law

In honor of the 25th Anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. that reshaped how judges evaluate scientific and expert evidence, join experts in the fields of forensics, statistics and law for a one-day conference on Monday, March 26, 2018 at the University of Virginia School of Law. Panels […]