In response to an overwhelming forensic testing backlog, Houston opened the Forensic Science Center. The center focuses on collecting digital evidence from mobile devices and is well equipped to do so. Read more below: http://abc13.com/science/exclusive-behind-the-scenes-of-houstons-forensic-lab/1744970/
The Austin Police Crime Lab closed in June of 2016 after the state government uncovered faulty and outdated testing procedure at the facility. Approximately 2,200 Texas inmates will receive notice that DNA tests used in convictions, ranging from 2004 to 2016, could be erroneous. Cases also include rape and murder convictions. Authorities have just begun… Read More Over 2,000 Texas Inmates to be Notified of Faulty DNA Tests
A former forensic lab analyst, whose tests were invoked in a number of convictions, has been partially discredited. Pamela Fish often told the court that her tests were inconclusive rather than exclusionary. Her lab notes indicate that many of her tests were actually exclusionary. This discrepancy played a key role in a number of convictions,… Read More Chicago Forensic Analyst’s Tests Called Into Question
The Austin American Statesmen describes how “Despite their high-stakes work for the criminal justice system — from convicting the guilty to exonerating the innocent — forensic labs are surprisingly underregulated.” They note that a 2013 survey of Texas public labs found that “13 percent had obtained certification. For DNA examiners, it was only 5 percent. (Texas… Read More Regulation (or lack thereof) of Crime Labs
There will be free live webcast of the Public Status Reports & Open Discussion meetings of the Organization of Scientific Area Committee for Forensic Science (OSAC). These meetings will take place in New Orleans, LA, beginning at 8am CST on February 13-14, 2017, as part of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) annual meeting. Register… Read More OSAC will be streaming discussions on forensic sciences online Feb 13-14
In September, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology issued a report recommending that courts stop using pattern matching forensic science until there can be scientific verification of the techniques. Included in pattern matching techniques are ballistics comparison, bite-mark identification and fingerprint identification techniques. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has refused to implement the… Read More Obama neglects to implement PCAST’s recommendations for forensic science reform
Today, Jan. 9 and tomorrow, the National Commission on Forensic Science is meeting. The agenda is here. The agenda includes reports on accreditation and proficiency testing, human factors, reporting and testimony, and federal research initiatives. A live webcast is available here.