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

Forensics: Another court bypasses recanted expert testimony and agrees with a DA being “confused” about what junk forensics means.

Lets say again, that almost any excuse can be used by some courts to deny that junk forensic testimony should be a threshold for a successful request for a new trial.

https://www.propublica.org/article/judge-in-joe-bryan-case-rejects-defense-pleas-for-new-trial

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Forensics: 1985 trial using junk bitemark evidence not a problem to another appellate court

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(Image: the concept of worms causing dental decay)

Yet another confirmation that the “rule of law” used in courts of review supersedes unspeakable injustice of failed expert testimony used to convict. This story indicates the prosecutors philosophy of “once convicted, always convicted” travels up-hill into the judiciary regardless of its known failures to understand bad “science” from “good science.”

http://www.tribtoday.com/news/local-news/2018/12/danny-lee-hill-appeal-for-new-trial-denied/

 

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Forensics: A good look at an expert’s advocacy. Admitted by some courts, but not all.

This story is about a MD who has a strange habit of giving opinion evidence in child abuse cases cloaked as sound science. Works for him. One court called him out on it.

https://www.propublica.org/article/david-ayoub-an-anti-vaxxer-new-crusade

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Faulty Forensics Put Me on Death Row – VICE Video: Documentaries, Films, News Videos

Another look at bitemark “experts” running amok. Most people are introduced to forensic science through TV and film, and because of this we have come to see forensic techniques as foolproof methods for solving crimes. But many forensic science techniques were not developed by scientists.
— Read on video.vice.com/en_us/video/faulty-forensics-put-me-on-death-row/5bd0a140be4077624e3fc6b9

Posted in AAFS, ABFO, Bite Marks, Bitemarks, Forensic Science, forensic science reform protecting the innocent, junk forensic science | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Forensics: Over a million forensic hair cases need to be reviewed in Virgina

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This story reveals that the obstacles and reluctance to review convictions aided by junk sciences can be overcome. State by state. Too bad the bitemarker bunch (http://www.abfo.org ) refuse to make good their promises to do this in Texas. A real bunch of AHs.

Onto Virginia:

“The problem with such a review is that there are about a million case files in the archives from between 1973 and 1994 that need to be digitized and searched. The cases already digitized also need to be scrutinized.

Record keeping involving case transcripts is not uniform in Virginia, meaning in some instances, the written records of examiners’ courtroom testimonies may have already been destroyed or filed away in hard-to-retrieve places.”

https://www.dailypress.com/news/opinion/editorials/dp-edt-dna-evidence-1125-story.html

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Forensics: When do District Attorneys refuse to test DNA? When the test could be paid by the incarcerated.

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This story is from Florida. It could be from any state in the US. DAs always roll towards preserving their convictions. This makes platitudinous statements about “justice” from Attorney Generals and their deputies  hollow, pathological mythomania.

http://www.tampabay.com/projects/2018/narratives/blood-and-truth/the-lingering-case-of-tommy-zeigler/?platform=hootsuite

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Forensics: Harvard murder from 50 years ago. New DNA shows just how wrong initial investigators’ theories can be

 

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This is is commonly what happens once DNA testing is done AFTER a conviction. One of the problems is the cost of post conviction testing that has to be borne by the Innocence Project and other innocence litigators. Donate to the Innocence Project for DNA testing.

Many of the #FreeCA12 clients are stuck in prison because there was no DNA collected by law enforcement. Donate to the Cal Western Innocence Project.

“The case highlights the power of advanced techniques to definitively shut long-unsolved cases. But these new forensic excavations also underscore how far off initial hunches or once-promising leads can be, particularly when the perpetrator is a random actor. Britton’s death was a seemingly single act of violence that now has been threaded into a serial pattern. According to Middlesex County, Sumpter has been connected with five sexual assaults, including three murders.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2018/11/26/nearly-years-harvard-was-haunted-by-an-unsolved-murder-dna-now-points-serial-rapist/?utm_term=.60dedb2516fc

 

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Forensics: A response to Trump’s DOJ unabated lies about science and criminal justice

This is written by Betty Lane DesPortes of past AAFS president fame. It is short and to the point. The USDOJ brought out DAG Rosenstein unleashed a load of clap-trap straight from the Inquisition’s Star Chamber. Thanks to Sci Direct for putting this out.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0379073818305498

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Forensics: As usual, lawyers influencing “rules” on decision-making truly are ignorant

Forensics, Justice, and the Case for Science-Based Decision Making

The US Department of Justice ran this show.  Simon Cole at the U of Irvine writes a clear expose’ (at the above link) on the details of a newly adopted series of testimonial rules for federally run labs that the DOJ heralds as:

Rod’s POV on science and the police labs was previously and thoroughly viewed as scientifically inadequate in: “Rod Rosenstein still doesn’t get the problem with forensics” (Radley Balko at The Watch).

So, read Simon’s look at the intransigent and skewed science culture that the Prosecutors continue to uphold.

PS. Here is the DOJ database with links to these proclamations for various forensic practitioners.

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Forensics: Why bitemark matching is a pseudoscience. Courts need to pay attention.

 

This article is about the collision between legitimate forensic science versus bitemark “science” poseurs and the resulting damage to the US justice system. Review of a Forensic Pseudoscience. (accepted manuscript).

Much thanks to Elsevier ScienceDirect publisher Alexander Smith  and Journal of Forensics and Legal Medicine editor Tim Thompson for this publishing opportunity.

Abstract:

The forensic sciences are a combination of laboratory procedures and physical
comparisons of objects associated with victims, perpetrators, and crime scenes. The
former is largely university-based protocols adopted by crime labs. The latter is
predominantly pattern-matching tools originally developed by police examiners or
experts deemed by courts to be relevant to forensic matters. These Court accepted
experts bring their reasoning and conclusions into the legal arena. This subgroup of
forensics has undergone significant scrutiny in regards to its history of exaggerated
claims and weak scientific. This paper addresses the rise and fall of
bitemark pattern analysis (i.e. “matching” bitemarks in human flesh to human teeth) in the environment of opposing interests and agendas.

The Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine

Please cite this article as: Bowers CM, Review of a Forensic Pseudoscience: Identification of Criminals from Bitemark Patterns, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jflm.2018.11.001.

 

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