Is the “Nazification” of Forensic Science possible under Trump and Jeff Sessions?

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Up to this point in history, the 20th century is gone, but it’s compendium of events regarding totalitarian use of governmental “mind control” of science and technology has continued into the 21st. Topics such as eugenics, population “cleansing” of dissidents, and skewing of democratic principles used in Nazi Germany, China, and Soviet Russia makes for chilling evidence that George Orwell’s “1984” is real.

Similarly chilling, this short-but-excellent look at the use of psychiatry by these regimes casts a strong light on similarities present in today’s governmental propaganda denying that police forensics has a robust connection with wrongful convictions.

For example(s):

Forensics: Scientific American goes after (again) Trump/Sessions dumping NCFS Commission

Cures for crime lab scandals and injustice left foundering in Session’s wake

Bitemark victim Keith Harward talks to lame duck Forensic Science Commission

New Ohio exoneration casts worries about a ‘Sessions Effect’ on criminal justice

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Using bitemarker cases to reflect on how courts should protect the innocent from junk forensic science – Some do and some don’t

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Another mini-review of bitemark matching fallacies that present in the US  courts since 1954 and which contributed to dozens wrongful convictions. That number continues to increase. This article focuses on Alfred Swinton’s recent release from a Connecticut prison. It does not discuss that Alfred has to sue the state, the dentists,, the police, (DAs are immune) and other investigators in order to receive any compensation for the 18 years he spent locked up.

Besides better judge “gate-keeping, ” this next article says “bitemarks are sometimes” wrong.

This reporter misses the point that proving when bitemarks are “right” has never been studied by the bitemarkers. That doesn’t deter the dentists, however.

One bitemark big wig has this to say,

“There are hundreds and hundreds of other cases that have been tried in this country in which bite-mark evidence has led to an accurate conclusion,” said Golden. “While the Innocence Project may ignore that, the fact still remains there is a place for bite-mark evidence in the realm of forensic investigation.”

This amounts to more “psuedo-science”  bunko from this small bunch who can’t even construct successful proficiency testing, let alone perform positive validity testing for their obsolete litany of “scientific assumptions.”

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If you want the latest Forensic terminology guidelines – pay up for ASTM documents

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Some of these federal OSAC documents on everything “forensic” in regards to vernacular and evidence descriptors are free. Others cost $$$. I find it incredible that governmental funded forensic study groups can produce intellectual property for forensic science practitioners and then profiteers (ASTM) step in and charge $41 bucks for a 20 page .pdf document.

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Forensics: Author John Grisham talks about courtrooms “flooded with an avalanche of unreliable, even atrocious ‘science.’ “

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He brings out Mississippi’s “The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist” along with other forensic failures in this L.A. Times Op-Ed.

“It’s a maddening indictment of America’s broken criminal justice system, in which prosecutors allowed — even encouraged — flawed forensic testimony because it was molded to fit their theories of guilt. Over two decades, elected judges permitted these two professional testifiers to convince unsophisticated jurors that science was on the side of the state.”

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Forensics: Incompetent officer field drug testing puts another innocent in jail for months – Vitamins “tested” as Oxycodone

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Another field drug test mistake sends woman to jail — for months

So much for “Law and Order” accuracy in field drug testing and law enforcement forensics. The recent USDOJ PR piece on forensic “transparency” and “validity” hasn’t made its way out of the DC Beltway just yet.



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Swinton bitemark exoneration generates praise for Conn Attorney General – Really?

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The AG’s office declined to recharge Alfred Swinton after his 1991 conviction fell apart due to DNA “touch” analysis of the victim and a bitemark expert who recanted his trial testimony. The praise for the AG in this first article contradicts the objections the state presented to Swinton’s post conviction DNA testing during years of appeal.

In 200o, The Hartford Courant had a much different take on Mr. Swinton. The certainly did.

In 2001, Swinton’s appellate attorney states that he is innocent. The state’s “top” forensic dentist is also mentioned.

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Forensic in the News – NY Legal Aid Society

Click on the above to read about “pattern-matching’ forensics. Of course bitemarks are #1.

Where’s the commitment to correcting past flawed forensics??
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced new DOJ policies on forensic science this week during a speech at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’ (AAFS) 70th Annual Scientific Meeting. According to a memo published on the DOJ website, the new policies include standardized language for forensic expert testimony and reports, “Department-wide testimony monitoring practices to ensure testimonial consistency and accountability,” requiring DOJ labs to post their quality management documents and internal validation studies online, and a revival of the Council of Federal Forensic Laboratory Directors.

The Innocence Project has issued as response to the Deputy Attorney General’s remarks, stating: “We’ve known since 2009 that there are problems with the scientific validity of forensic disciplines used to identify suspects with the exception of DNA evidence.  Yet after this administration shut down the National Commission of Forensic Science — the first inclusive and transparent effort to address these fundamental flaws in evidence that is used in countless prosecutions across the nation — there was no mention by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein of how the Department of Justice plans to address this core validity problem.”

Related: Full RemarksMemo on Approval of Uniform Language for Testimony and Reports

Researchers from the National Institute of Science and Technology have developed a statistical method of comparing ballistic samples that could enable experts to use a numeric scale when testifying about the strength of a ballistics match in court. (

The Massachusetts Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether all drug cases worked on by former state lab analyst Sonja Farak, who was arrested in 2013 for stealing drugs from active casework, should be dismissed. While state prosecutors have already agreed to dismiss nearly 8,000 cases that Farak worked on, the ACLU and public defenders have asked for blanket dismissal of every case the former analyst touched (MassLive)
Related: Greenfield Recorder

A new study from M.I.T. reveals that facial recognition software programs are 99% correct when used on people with light skin, but have a nearly 35% error rate for people with darker skin. The NY Times notes, “In modern artificial intelligence, data rules. A.I. software is only as smart as the data used to train it…One widely used facial-recognition data set was estimated to be more than 75 percent male and more than 80 percent white, according to another research study.”  (NY Times)

The Crown Prosecution Service in the United Kingdom will review all current rape cases involving digital evidence after it was discovered that at least fifteen police departments had outsourced their digital forensic work to unaccredited private labs in the past year (Guardian)

Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a new DNA database that seeks to “help bring more reliability to the interpretation of complex DNA evidence” (

“Researchers have identified fifteen genes that determine our facial features”
(Science Daily)
Related: “Forensic Facial Reconstruction Could Now Look to Your DNA”

“Y chromosome profiling, important in sexual assault cases, can often be presented incorrectly in court. New math could help by taking the ambiguity out of the equation.” (

Thanks to the NY LAS : This is their DNA Newsletter.
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Junk drug testing from hair and alcohol continues to do damage from Canadian Motherisk lab scandal

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This story underlies the devastation to victims of false and misleading forensic lab testing. Motherisk is a hospital chem lab that contracted to Canadian legal authorities responsible for enforcing child protection laws. This story is from Nova Scotia.

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Chicago Cops praise new technology in homicide drop; Trauma Centers get no credit

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The Chicago Metro medical system is considered premier-quality regarding treating gun shot wounds and related trauma. The US military trains its trauma physicians in Chicago trauma centers. Combining health care with homicide statistics seems to be absent in this first article about “Chicago gun violence.”  Homicides and shooting victims are two separate categories of the same problem. The second article shows how political the subject of trauma centers has become in Chicago’s minority communities. The third has stats on Chicago shooting incidents obtained by the Chicago Tribune in order to look deeper into guns and crime and medical issues.. The final link talks about shooting prevention happening on the streets by civilians.

Police looking at homicides in Chicago. 

Chicago trauma centers highlighted and described. 

Chicago gun violence costs start at $447 million according to the Chi Tribune. 

Ex-gang members program intervening in Chicago gun violence defunded.  “Its a health-care problem.”


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The World’s largest Science Org blasts Forensic latent fingerprints for unsupportable opinions

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The AAAS is relatively new to reviewing forensics, but it has taken on pattern-matchers with the full force of its multidisciplinary membership. Its candor is a refreshing look into latent print matching experts. The AAAS has no law enforcement affiliations like the National Institute of Justice which is the primary funding source to forensic investigators. Simply put, they don’t have political affiliations or the NIJ’s prosecutorial culture.  Here’s a piece of the AAAS September 2017 look at Latents.

“Drawing on the conclusions of existing literature about scientifically appropriate statements examiners should make in testimony and reports, the report says examiners should convey the high level of scientific uncertainty that underlies the analysis they are presenting in court and make clear the findings are subjective and not grounded in evidence.”

This doesn’t read like the recent blurb from the USDOJ DAG Rod J. Rosenstein’s take on police forensics. His statement carries no mention of its flimsy connections, in some cases, with scientific proofs. They have too many skeletons and cases regarding half-baked opinions used by prosecutors to admit much else. Hence my lede’s use of “denying the obvious.”

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