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Keyword: forensicscience

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  • (Civil War Forensics) Surgeon: Pneumonia Likely Killed 'Stonewall' Jackson

    05/10/2013 8:08:54 PM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 37 replies
    The Charleston Gazette ^ | May 10, 2013 | The Charleston Gazette
    Surgeon: Pneumonia likely killed 'Stonewall' Jackson Legendary Confederate general died 150 years ago Friday Historians and doctors have debated for decades what medical complications caused the death of legendary Confederate fighter Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, felled by friendly fire from his troops during the Civil War. Shot three times while returning from scouting enemy lines in the Virginia wilderness, Jackson was badly wounded in the left arm by one of the large bullets the night of May 2, 1863. Blood gushed from a severed artery. It took at least two hours to get him to a field hospital, and Jackson...
  • Massachusetts crime lab scandal explodes

    04/04/2013 4:42:15 PM PDT · by neverdem · 23 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 4 April 2013 | Rebecca Trager
    More than 300 convicted inmates have been released from Massachusetts state prisons in the US as a result of the September 2012 arrest and subsequent indictment of Annie Dookhan, who worked in a Department of Public Health state laboratory and allegedly falsified evidence used in criminal cases. Now the scandal has grown with the prosecution of another Massachusetts state lab chemist for tampering with evidence and stealing drugs seized as evidence. Sonja Farak, who worked at the Massachusetts State Crime Laboratory in Amherst, was charged with tampering with four drug samples stored at the lab on 1 April. In two...
  • (CSI Poop Police) DNA Test Helps Enforce Pet Clean Up Policy

    02/09/2012 6:45:01 PM PST · by DogByte6RER · 14 replies
    Fox 5 San Diego ^ | February 9, 2012 | Brad Wills
    DNA Test Helps Enforce Pet Clean Up Policy SAN DIEGO - The same DNA technology that has solved cold case murders is now being used to crack down on a whole new class of criminals: dog owners who don't clean up after their pets. "Unfortunately, people leave surprises in my yard, but I always carry plastic bags, so I can clean up those surprises," said dog owner Ted Stevens. Now, BioPet Vet Lab ,a company in Knoxville, Tenn., has developed technology that is says can identify the dogs that leave unwelcome calling cards on neighborhood lawns. The system, called Pooprints,...
  • Justices may rule soon on campaign-finance case

    01/11/2010 11:19:31 AM PST · by neverdem · 3 replies · 590+ views
    Washington Post ^ | January 9, 2010 | Robert Barnes
    After a holiday break, the Supreme Court returned to work Friday with unfinished business at hand, some of its toughest cases ahead and a looming decision that could rock the national political landscape in this year of midterm congressional elections. The justices met privately to pick through the stack of review requests that accumulated since their last public session Dec. 14. And they will begin a new round of oral arguments on Monday in which Justice Sonia Sotomayor will probably play a prominent role. But it is an old case that is puzzling court observers and consuming the political world:...
  • Analysis: Law need not bow to chemistry

    06/27/2009 6:39:31 PM PDT · by neverdem · 33 replies · 1,001+ views ^ | June 25, 2009 | Lyle Denniston
    Expressing a heavy dose of skepticism that crime lab reports are so reliable as to be beyond question, the Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the way for chemists and other scientists who prepare such reports to be summoned to the witness stand in criminal trials to defend their analyses.  The 5-4 ruling in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (07-591) resulted from some unusual alliances among the Justices, and continued the deep division within the Court over how to interpret the Constitution’s guarantee that an individual on trial for a crime has a right to face and challenge the witnesses for the prosecution.Justice...
  • In Criminal Cases, Should Science Only Serve the State? Forensic scientists who testify for...

    03/25/2009 3:18:54 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies · 508+ views
    Reason ^ | March 25, 2009 | Radley Balko
    Forensic scientists who testify for criminal defendants are under fire. They ought to be praised.Last month, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a wide-ranging report expressing alarm at the way forensic science is used in the courtroom. Among the many problems the report addressed was the tendency of many states to see state-employed forensic experts not as independent scientists, but as part of the prosecution's "team." The problem with that sort of arrangement is obvious: It introduces pressure—subtle or overt—on scientists to produce results that please police and prosecutors. The NAS report recommends that state-employed forensic experts be neutral....
  • How to Bring Real Science Into the Courtroom - A disturbing new report says our criminal courts...

    02/20/2009 9:55:20 PM PST · by neverdem · 11 replies · 601+ views
    Reason ^ | February 20, 2009 | Radley Balko
    A disturbing new report says our criminal courts have been relying on bad evidence. A forthcoming study from the National Academy of Sciences on the poor quality of forensic science in America’s courtrooms is expected to send shockwaves through the criminal justice system. According to The New York Times: People who have seen it say it is a sweeping critique of many forensic methods that the police and prosecutors rely on, including fingerprinting, firearms identification and analysis of bite marks, blood spatter, hair and handwriting. The report says such analyses are often handled by poorly trained technicians who then exaggerate...
  • Swedish authorities embroiled in furore over academic freedom - Journal removes paper from...

    02/17/2009 6:39:16 PM PST · by neverdem · 2 replies · 451+ views
    Nature News ^ | 16 February 2009 | Natasha Gilbert
    Journal removes paper from website after company threatens legal action. Lie detection — an emotional issue. The Swedish Research Council is wading into an escalating row over academic freedom after a peer-reviewed journal removed a published paper — penned by two Swedish academics — from its website following a threat of legal action from the company whose technology the research criticized.The controversial paper1, entitled 'Charlatanry in forensic speech science: a problem to be taken seriously', was first published in the International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law in December 2007. In it, speech scientists Francisco Lacerda of Stockholm University...
  • New technique lifts fingerprints off cleaned guns

    01/02/2009 8:52:47 AM PST · by neverdem · 47 replies · 2,398+ views ^ | NA | NA
    Wiping the gun clean has long been considered best practice for villains but may soon become a quaint custom that will ultimately prove fruitless. Researchers have developed a method to visualize fingerprints even after the print itself has been removed by measuring the corrosion of the surface by deposits from the fingerprints. The technique can enhance after firing a fingerprint that has been deposited on a small caliber metal cartridge case before it is fired. The technique promises the ability to reopen many cases and solve cold cases around the world because the underlying print never disappears according to...
  • Police Review Lab Work After Suicide of Scientist

    06/11/2008 10:38:52 PM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies · 73+ views
    NY Times ^ | June 12, 2008 | NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
    New York State Police officials are notifying district attorneys across the state that evidence in criminal cases may have been compromised by a forensic scientist who committed suicide last month after auditors discovered that he had not followed proper procedures in some cases, officials said Tuesday. The scientist, Garry Veeder, worked at the State Police crime lab for more than 30 years analyzing so-called trace evidence, such as fibers, physical material and impressions left at crime scenes. The agency is reviewing his work going back at least a decade and cannot yet say how many cases could have been compromised....
  • Governor Seeks Vast DNA Base for New York

    05/13/2007 10:16:33 PM PDT · by neverdem · 14 replies · 727+ views
    NY Times ^ | May 14, 2007 | PATRICK McGEEHAN
    Gov. Eliot Spitzer is proposing a major expansion of New Yorks database of DNA samples to include people convicted of most crimes, while making it easier for prisoners to use DNA to try to establish their innocence. Currently, New York State collects DNA from those convicted of about half of all crimes, typically the most serious. The governors proposal would order DNA taken from those found guilty of any misdemeanor, including minor drug offenses, harassment or unauthorized use of a credit card, according to a draft of his bill. It would not cover offenses considered violations, like disorderly conduct. In...
  • After Falsified Test Results, Kelly Orders Forensic Shakeup (NYPD)

    04/20/2007 8:23:02 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies · 376+ views
    NY Times ^ | April 20, 2007 | THOMAS J. LUECK
    With the disclosure that two civilian employees reported false results in testing drug bags in 2002 at the police crime laboratory, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly has ordered a shakeup of the Forensic Investigations Division and the creation of an oversight panel, the authorities said yesterday. The changes come as a rebuke to the forensic units former commander, Deputy Chief Denis McCarthy, who was recently transferred to a patrol division. Chief McCarthy, a 27-year veteran of the department, was in charge in 2002 when the two employees were found to have engaged in dry-labbing, or cutting corners in the process...
  • Mystery of Mozart Skull Deepens

    01/08/2006 7:26:45 PM PST · by CurlyBill · 51 replies · 1,677+ views
    VOA News ^ | 9 January 2006 | VOA News
    Mystery of Mozart Skull Deepens By VOA News 09 January 2006 Forensic scientists say they have failed to unravel the 200-year old mystery of the skull of legendary Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Austrian television commissioned American and Austrian scientists to carry out DNA tests on a skull that some experts insist is Mozart's. The scientists hoped to match its DNA to genetic samples taken from what they believed are the skeletons of Mozart's grandmother and niece. The scientists said on Austrian television Sunday that the skeletons do not match the skull, and that the skeletons are also unrelated -...
  • Digitized prints can point finger at innocent

    01/03/2005 9:10:05 AM PST · by demlosers · 4 replies · 828+ views
    yahoo ^ | 3 Jan 2005 | Flynn McRoberts and Steve Mills
    Deep inside a sprawling complex tucked in the hills of this Appalachian town, a room full of supercomputers attempts to sift America's guilty from its innocent. This is where the FBI keeps its vast database of fingerprints, allowing examiners to conduct criminal checks from computer screens in less than 30 minutes--something that previously took them weeks as they rummaged through 2,100 file cabinets stuffed with inked print cards. But the same digital technology that has allowed the FBI to speed such checks so dramatically over the last few years has created the risk of accusing people who are innocent, the...
  • Study criticizes FBI bullet-match method

    11/24/2003 8:33:57 AM PST · by neverdem · 3 replies · 130+ views
    The Washington Times ^ | Nov 22, 2003 | N/A AP
    <p>In a finding that could affect thousands of criminal cases, the National Academy of Sciences has concluded that some techniques the FBI has used for decades to match bullets to crimes are flawed or imprecise.</p> <p>The study, expected to be released in the next few weeks, makes about a half-dozen recommendations to improve the FBI lab's science used to match bullets through their lead content.</p>