Forensics Canada: Bitemarkers run amok; Courts and DAs prefer case precedence over science.

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This is a 50 page UBC Law Review narrative on the inadequacies of courts to recognize junk “forensic” experts. Battling Canadian bitemarkers leave a trail of exaggerated claims and criminal case law that is blind to scientific principles.

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Posted in ABFO, Bad Forensic Science, Bite Marks, Bitemarks, expert testimony, Forensic Science, Forensic Science Bias, junk forensic science, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

FoxNews: Unreliable bitemarks still on the books in all 50 states.

https://fox6now.com/2019/07/17/its-essentially-junk-bite-mark-case-underscores-national-call-to-improve-forensic-evidence/

Excellent 8min video expose’ on the recent Stinson $7.5M award for wrongful conviction in Milwaukee. As usual, the city taxpayers take the financial hit. Kudos to all those who helped this case along. Heather Donnell and her staff are incredible

 

Posted in ABFO, Bad Forensic Science, Bite Marks, Bitemarks, criminal justice reform, CSI, expert testimony, forensic testimony, Ray Krone bitemark case | 2 Comments

Forensics: The battle of open access for scientific research papers. UCLA get slapped by mega publisher Elsevier.

The publisher spans the world for science, medicine and some things forensics. It has one open access (i.e. free) journal about forensics. Good for them.  This story covers the larger issue of  corporate profiteering (over charging) for information that is derived from grant-funded projects which do not self-publish. Maybe Elsevier needs more competition.

https://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-uc-elsevier-20190711-story.html

 

 

 

Posted in CSI, expert testimony, Forensic Dentistry, forensic pathology, Forensic Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Forensics: The Major UK Forensic Firm Gets Ransacked for Ransom

Oh dear, this is not very good news. Eurofins does this in the UK. 

Eurofins deals with over 70,000 criminal cases in the UK each year.

It carries out DNA testing, toxicology analysis, firearms testing and computer forensics for police forces across the UK.

Forensic science work has been carried out by private firms and police laboratories in England and Wales since the closure of the government’s Forensic Science Service in 2012.

The result of this hack. This is just the beginning. Security issues have been around for decades regarding forensic labs.  Some time in the 1970’s,  a sect of the IRA bunch,  bombed out an Irish government crime lab in order to destroy evidence prosecutors needed to charge the crooks with crimes.   In 2016, a Belgium crime lab got incinerated by another bunch of crooks.

‘Court hearings postponed’

(Today’s News) An emergency police response to the cyber-attack was led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) to manage the flow of forensic submissions so DNA and blood samples which needed urgent testing were sent to other suppliers.

It has led to delays in forensic science provision and is understood to have caused some court hearings to be postponed because information on the results of analysis conducted by Eurofins was not accessible.

BBC News Report 

Posted in Forensic crime lab security issues, US Crime labs | Leave a comment

Forensics: The Attack of the Bite Mark Matchers Revisited

Recent civil litigation regarding Robert Lee Stinson suing for compensation for his years in prison as an innocent man. Once again, its all about bitemarks.

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/crime/2019/06/26/prosecutor-dentists-swayed-him-gut-feeling-suspect-innocent/1561073001/

A broader look at the effects of scientifically inadequate bitemark opinions. (2015)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2015/02/18/attack-of-the-bite-mark-matchers-2/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7d3a7afc5aa2

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Forensics needs some help: Read from these leaders in science and law. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/06/20/we-need-fix-forensics-how/

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Forensics: Statements why Shaken Baby Syndrome diagnoses are flawed and influenced by the courts.

The scientific fallacies of SBS

This article has a checkered past as the authors’ compelling analysis was initially  rejected. It is telling that their story parallels the process of how overreaching expertism, once adopted by the courts and despite scant research, can grow exponentially and persist.

 

 

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Forensics: Opinion piece publishing warnings abt weak forensic document examiners wins defamation appeal in 7th Circuit

This look at forensic entitlement leading to frivolous litigation shows the gap between forensics and legitimate scientific advance.
— Read on www.abajournal.com/news/article/aba-publication-wins-defamation-appeal-in-7th-circuit

Posted in AAFS, ABFO, Bad Forensic Science, criminal justice reform, forensic misconuct, Forensic Science Bias, US Crime labs | Leave a comment

Forensics: Dentists continue to assume bitemark patterns are accurate

As usual, dentists show little interest and generally ignore the fact that skin is easily distorted. This paper studies skin color. Meh.

www.researchgate.net/profile/Scheila_Manica/publication/332415224_Exploring_bite_marks_on_different_types_of_skin_tones/links/5cb73f0692851c8d22f23ef3/Exploring-bite-marks-on-different-types-of-skin-tones.pdf

Posted in Bite Marks, Bitemarks, Forensic Dentistry, Forensic Science Bias, forensic science reform | Leave a comment

Forensics: Jack the Ripper and “clothing matching” = Looking at professional advancement despite “ubiquitous” reliability

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In the shadow of the recent Jack the Ripper mtDNA fiasco, here is another. Apparently all our Levis’ pants seams and buttons are unique or something close to it according to one guy at the FBI. He gets a pass when his lab results miraculously approach “certainty” the closer he gets to testifying. Whatta joke. But you know, it sure guarantees job security.

This article has a final statement about US governmental oversight of FBI forensics and its “science.”

“The DOJ has too much invested in half-baked science and self-made experts to actually clean house and add more actual science to its forensic methods.”

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Forensics: USING STATISTICS LIKE A DRUNKARD USES A LAMP POST; FOR SUPPORT NOT ILLUMINATION

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Awesome read: Forensic/Science Accuracy .

This is a British Commonwealth legal review of forensic expertism. Many nuggets of prior cases and judge-like opines are presented. The article also appreciates the contribution of US law profs Risinger, Saks, and Thompson’s activities in articulating the insidious presence “observer effects” in experts’ testimony and conclusions. (page 222, fn 37) 

excerpt: “Before a court can assess the value of an opinion it must know the facts upon which it is based … It is wrong to leave the other side to elicit the facts by cross-examination.”

An illustrative quote on forensic opinion-makers courtroom verbiage inciting their “science” to a non-science audience. 

excerpt: “As an example, the degrees of certainty, which are misleadingly referred to as “confidence intervals” by practitioners of barefoot morphology are as follows:

• “Insufficient Detail” – when there is not enough detail or clarity.

• “Support” – agreement or disagreement of details, such as the overall size, the location of the toe pads, but lack of sufficient quantity and or clarity.

• “Strong Support” – agreement or disagreement of all the detail, such as overall size, shape and location of the toe pads, contour of the metatarsal ridge, and the contour of the ball of the foot, but with a lack of sharp detail.

• “Did Make” – agreement of all detail, such as the overall size, shape and location of the toe pads, contour of the metatarsal ridge and the contour of the ball of the foot, sharp edge detail, in combination with random accidental characteristics (damage to the foot, flexion creases etc.)

• “Did Not Make” – contains clear detail that shows without doubt that the impression was not made by the individual in question. While there is a strong logical argument that the “Did Not Make” category has a scientific basis, since one missing element, or an additional one such as polydactyly, can disprove a hypothesis the category

“Did Make” is also absolute. This, for the reasons advanced earlier, cannot be supported from a logical or statistical perspective. “

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