Proactive DA takes on issue of 600 cases involving chemist with drug addiction

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This DA doing the right thing quickly.

“From various parts of the country over the years have come stories about prosecutors and courts reluctant to overturn convictions even when defendants’ rights have been violated or when key evidence subsequently proved to be tainted. When the justice system becomes overly invested in itself, an individual’s rights can fall by the wayside. Poor, minority and unsophisticated defendants are particularly vulnerable.”

Pittsburgh 

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Genetic ‘Stop and Frisk’ not such of a magic bullet after all – Familial DNA issues

 

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It seems that most police sciences get validated (at least some do) AFTER the cops start using it. While DNA profiling is considered the ‘gold standard’ for identification (not DNA mixtures, however),  this run-up to its use as a screening tool for suspects or ‘POI’ (persons of interest) has got some strong similarities with the FBI’s hair microscopy, bitemark comparisons without DNA, bullet lead matching and misleading police interrogation protocols. All of these got into swing by means of  the police practitioners themselves going into courts throughout the land. Here is Erin Murphy’s comments to the NY Forensic Science Commission.

Following is a March 23, 2009 newspaper piece getting out more details on how NY legislators are swallowing this familial DNA thing all at once. But, after all, they are mostly lawyers, right?

SideBar: Remember, asset forfeiture (works without a conviction) got the DEA almost $3 billion since 2007. Merely on  ‘suspicion’ of being a criminal.  To finish these analogies, here’s a link to ‘stop and frisk’ problems from New York.

Excerpt

If you think the government wouldn’t target you as a suspect because of who is in your family, you might soon be proven wrong. A New York forensic oversight agency wants to unilaterally expand the use of the offender DNA database to convert relatives of those on file into default suspects.

This is familial searching, and the state Commission on Forensic Science wants to allow its use — though it is not clear it has the legal authority. Some states have outlawed it, some use it without legislative authority, and more have taken no action.

Full article

Thanks to New York Legal Aid Society @LegalAidNYC

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Bitemark pattern used to overturn case against New Orleans defendant

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Once again, an ABFO dentist uses bitemark patterns to persuade a judge that there is  ‘science’ behind skin injuries and tooth comparisons. This time is to say the defendant’s teeth “didn’t match.” A new trial was ordered.

http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/courts/article_49cb7944-13fe-11e7-8dc6-9fe2d1aa4f30.html

 

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Florida ‘dog sniffing’ police ‘science’ cases ignored by DAs and CJ system

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Nothing seems more outlandish than dogs being use to track down criminals and being used as eye witnesses to a defendant’s guilt. Read this story about multiple cases of conviction added by another police ‘science.’

I would add another example in Texas, where a hypnotist brought forth ‘new evidence’ from two witnesses in the vicinity of a murder. That defendant is now scheduled for execution later this year. The case also has a bitemarker taking his  ‘junk’ identification to a ‘certainty beyond a doubt’ after looking at the defendant’s (any only the defendant’s) lower front teeth.

Florida article 

The Texas hypnotist Texas Ranger and the bitemarker.

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Netherlands custody death brings out the ‘perfect’ expert for the cops defence

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This is what courts commonly see when expert wits are qualified as keepers of specialized knowledge regarding in-custody deaths. He is a government employee in Amsterdam.

http://nltimes.nl/2017/03/29/expert-forensics-witness-history-backing-cops-violence-cases-report

Here is a journal article with this same expert, Kees Das, showing up as third author. The study talks about ’cause of death’ un-reliability in forensic medicine.

http://www.jflmjournal.org/article/S1752-928X(16)30073-7/abstract

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Erin Murphy on NY State’s adoption of familial DNA profiling

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Familial testing means that, depending on what the police decide on the necessary number of alleles that “match,” law enforcement will look into cousins, siblings, parents and unknown relatives who are in databases that are largely unregulated.

Law Prof Erin Murphy and others spoke their concerns yesterday in Albany NY.

Among other things, she said:

The law professor went on to say, “I can only hope that the members of the Committee have all volunteered their own DNA to law enforcement databases, given that they seem so convinced that crime solving should outweigh the genetic privacy of innocent people.”

Article

Here is concise article giving a more in-depth look at familial DNA concerns. #1 fact: It only works for men. #2 Look at the databases.

Article

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Parent deportation by #45 puts children and minors into harm’s way : #Forensic Connect

Think about Exploitation, Foster Care, Runaways, and Death facing these American Children. 

Nothing seems to penetrate the thick skulls of Trump and his minions regarding the harsh realities to thousands of American born kids by their being left alone after the CBP roundup of undocumented parents. All I have read is some political appointee pledging to “provide for them.” Truly a throw-away line ignoring the obvious consequences.

Read this: “What Happens If Mom and Dad Get Deported” Texas Tribune

Read: “Parents ask: “What Happens to My Child If I’m Deported”  LA Times

Read: “Children Suffer Under Threat of Deportation”

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) talking about “Keeping our Children Safer.” (Click the pic). They have few options and little chance of more Trump funding to expand their already over-worked resources.

 

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The culture of forensic lab fraud and incompetence continues to damage lives

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Massachusetts set to dismiss up to 24,000 cases. (Drug testing)

Florida has 2600 affected cases. (Fingerprints)

Texas DNA lab may have up to 5,000 affected cases.

Ohio crime lab tech may have 30 years of suspicious and prosecution biased casework. 

An archive of police lab scandals up to 2013. State by state compilation.

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FBI facial recognition system fails in a Congressional lookover

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At Facial Recognition Databases Hearing, Congress Attacks FBI

Here are a few quotes:

  • …saying the technology fosters racial bias, leads to arrests of innocent people and trashes Americans’ privacy.
  • More than 400 million pictures of Americans’ faces are archived in local, state and federal law enforcement facial recognition networks.
  • I have zero confidence in the FBI and the [Justice Department], frankly, to keep this in check
  • This is really Nazi Germany here, what we’re talking about
  • I think we’re reaching a very sad point, a very dangerous point, when we’re doing away with the reasonable expectation of privacy about anything.

Full article from NBC.

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Speakers before House Judiciary on Forensic Sciences

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March 28, 2017

‘To Examine the State of Forensic Science in the United States’

Four prepared statements to be discussed in DC. There are four presenters (read the last one FIRST):

Victor Weedn: has a ‘politically correct’ statement about the 11-2016 #PCAST report on pattern matching flaws and weak empirical research. Describes them as ‘debatable.’ He wants more money for research, however.

“While the scientific efficacy of the PCAST report is debatable, the report is absolutely correct on the need for additional research to enhance current forensic science capabilities and instill confidence in current methodologies.”

Matthew Gamette: on overworked and under funded police crime labs and Trump’s Budget projections non-funding of Paul Coverdell grants, cost of training, the decreasing availability of forensic nurses and pathologists.

David Baldwin: Talks about suggestions brought forward by the Obama administration without mentioning either the Obama era NAS forensic report or the #PCAST report. Has a bit to say about ‘few’ research studies not being enough in the area of ballistics ‘black-box’ studies.

Sandra Guerra Thompson: Read this one FIRST. She immediately starts with wrongful convictions and puts them in context with the challenges and renovation to remedy forensic weaknesses with the Houston FS Crime Lab. Mentions and footnotes references throughout her paper. Her issue spotting skills in regards to reliability testing etc. surpasses the first three by a mile.

 

 

 

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