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

Image result for forensic buffoonery

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.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

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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Forensics: Have you left your DNA trail at a crime scene recently?

Image result for crime scene mistakes

Terrible questions will come to mind when the police call you up for an “interview.”  Read this in advance.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/long-handshake-spread-your-dna-objects-you-didnt-touch

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“Making Forensics Unsafe” – Again its the FBI pattern matchers.

(Image credit: ProPublica)

This has a familiar ring to it. More or less it is the “I can see it, even if you can’t” brand of accepted “scientific” testimony. This is the path of other forensic innovators who single-handedly advance their own version of “accuracy” and “probability.” In this story, a  pixel pushing FBI Image lab guy climbs the ladder by putting bad guys away and rises to the high atmosphere of the AAFS org.

Excerpt:

“Such shortcomings could have led judges to block image analysis from criminal trials. But Vorder Bruegge single-handedly built a body of case law that has kept the FBI unit’s testimony admissible in the courts. His 22-year-old comparison of bluejeans is the legal foundation for most photo comparison methods.

The FBI Lab’s image unit had routinely used unproven techniques since the 1960s, but Vorder Bruegge embraced and expanded them, according to court records and his published articles. At times, he has given jurors baseless statistics to say the risk of error was almost zero. Studies on several methods in the past decade have found them unreliable.

Today, Vorder Bruegge is one of the nation’s most influential crime lab scientists. He serves on the Forensic Science Standards Board, which sets rules for every field, from DNA to fingerprints. He’s a co-chair organizing the American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting this week in Baltimore, a gathering of thousands of crime lab professionals, researchers, lawyers and judges.”

https://www.propublica.org/article/fbi-scientists-statements-linked-defendants-to-crimes-even-when-his-lab-results-didnt

 

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Judging The Value of Forensic Evidence | Inside Science

A legal eagle (judge) says judges are a “quick study” about science. Thats still not science. Their messed up case decisions serve as proof. Some prosecutors take advantage. (Inside Science) — According to Senior U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, at the Southern District of New York, “Forensic science continues to be routinely admitted by the courts, both state and federal, even though considerable doubts have now been raised as to whether forensic science really is science at all, and whether it is reliable and valid.”
— Read on www.insidescience.org/video/judging-value-forensic-evidence

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#AAFS2019 Take a look at the AAFS forensic dentists’ “transparency” problems as the: Innocence Project Sues for Access to Museum’s Bite Mark Archive | New York Law Journal

The wrongful conviction exoneration group says the federally-run National Museum of Health and Medicine violated its First Amendment rights by denying it access to the archives of a prominent national odontology group that in the past promoted the now-controversial forensic bite mark analysis.
— Read on www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2019/02/20/innocence-project-sues-for-access-to-museums-bite-mark-archive/

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Forensic bias of CPS abuse doctors analyzed, revealed, and needs fixing.

files.texaspolicy.com/uploads/2019/02/11144816/2019-02-RR-Brown-CFC-Reforming-Use-of-Child-Abuse-Pediatric-Teams-in-CPS1.pdf

Posted in Bad Forensic Science, forensic pathology, Forensic Science Bias, Medical errors | Leave a comment

Forensics: Journals in forensics need a dose of this….

Integrity analyis for publishers and authors. My biggest concerns:

1) doctored data and images.

2) over-reaching conclusions.

3) Influence of funding sources (i.e. commmercial and USDOJ).

4) Cronyism and bias camouflaged as “support for high ethical standards” to mask critics’ personal malice.

https://www.statnews.com/2018/11/21/research-misconduct-journals-hiring-research-integrity-czars/

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Forensics: The tip of the iceberg of Trump’s shutdown. Declined attendance at Forensic Conferences like the AAFS

(photo credits: Forensic Magazine). The American Academy of Forensic Science annual meeting is next month in Baltimore. The AAFS has a large percentage of crime labbers, students, and related government forensics-types who use the week-long meetings for education, networking, and sharing forensic research presentations. That meeting could become a mere trickle of its former self if Trump pulls the plug on government for a second time on Feb 15. Trump and his minions have a track record of deleting Executive branch efforts to improve police forensic methods and practices.  here, here, here and here.

https://www.forensicmag.com/news/2019/02/aafs-2019-government-shutdown-threat-could-stymie-forensic-conference?platform=hootsuite

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Forensics: More of the usual police rush to do their own DNA testing without Validating the “Black Box.”

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Another short piece of “WTF” about law enforcement over-zealous main line adoption of their in-house “novel” methods. Precautions cast aside are:

“Yet as recent coverage of the police rollout of these devices makes clear, the advent of Rapid DNA introduces a host of concerns. We lack much meaningful oversight of forensic science or police technology in this country. These machines are unvalidated. They use proprietary “black box” technology, so that no one, least of all the people using them, knows precisely how they work. They make errors and destroy samples, but we do not know how often.”

https://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/column-just-how-reliably-does-this-police-black-box-test-dna-20190205/

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