FORENSIC FOCUS | Links to Science, News Trends and the Law

FORENSIC FOCUS LINKS: Monday Feb 17, 2014

FORENSIC CASES, RESEARCH AND TRAINING with some criminal justice.

1. Register for Tuesday Feb 18 webcast presentations at the AAFS annual meeting. Topics are NIJ funding grantees forensic projects and DIY funding opportunities.

2. Later on the 18th, there is a 5:00 pm to 7:00pm webcast at the AAFS meeting on how the NCFS plans to organize the advancing investigation into forensic science’s strengths and weaknesses.


3. Battle of the DUI Unit against those nasty criminal defense lawyers. It almost sounds like they are talking like lab geeks and lawyers, which, of course,  is part of the problem. Wait until the judge gets into it. Then it will be a triad: lawyer, ex-lawyer with a major in art history, and lab geek debate. I qualify as a little of all three. I majored in science and lab rat testing psychology. Read on for the semantics.

“……lab officials call the suspicion “ridiculous” and insist unexplained peaks on some graphs of test results have no bearing on the accuracy and reliability of the 17,000 tests the lab does for drunken driving cases annually.

Defense responds: “They say it’s just a weird thing we can ignore,” Mishlove said. “We think they’re very misguided.”

An obvious discord here. The lab guy talks about peaks and graphs which makes sense to him but only to toxicology folks. The lawyer clearly disagrees but can’t elaborate much beyond “weird.”


For anyone who reads this bloggish monograph: My interest in the sixties Civil Rights movement goes back to 1963, when I started high school. Later, I registered voters in LA (not Los Angeles) and MS in 1970. I got “detained” in LA’s Lake Charles by the police for loitering at a polling place. I was something like 70 yards away from it. The police were very nice. This is true. Many years later, I realized they might have saved me from getting shot later that evening.

3. Shotgun murder in Georgia from 1964. Army officer from Fort Benning. Local justice proved ineffective. KKK “enforcers” later convicted on federal charges. Victim’s wife later said, ““People commit crimes like this because they are ignorant,” she said. “They need education.” The story says “simultaneous double shots” Photo of local law enforcement (he’s not dressed like the FBI) “selfie” shows one shot through both driver’s side and backseat windows.

4. ALabama: Birmingham. 2014 KKK grand klucker ( aka “Exalted Cyclops”: I’ve never understood these KKK names) gets maybe ten years for cross burning.

5. ALabama: Birmingham. Revisiting the 1964 Baptist Church bombing site.  Comments on the then and the now.


6. Suggestions on modifying employment application disclosure requirements.

VA. Virginia, that is. Roanoke: which use to be called Big Lick. This is a social and criminal justice topic that is trending more these days. Too many people in prison costing $$$$. Prison conditions are deplorable. Privatized prisons have rubber stamp government oversight (read about FLA).  Social services are swamped, etc.  Even the innocent (according to the courts but don’t ask most original arresting LEs and DAs about it) can’t get a break. Read following.

7. Ten years after exoneration, man still not back to normal life. The innocence litigation institute that aided him now shuttered.



8. First state in US to mandate video-taped interviews for SUSPECTS, not just arrestees.–Suspect-Questioning/#.UwJeevldXW8


more later this week.

About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in AAFS, criminal justice, Forensic Science, National FOrensic Science Commission, Uncategorized, wrongful convictions. Bookmark the permalink.

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