Forensics in Focus | March 24. |

Forensics In Focus @csidds for March 24, 2014

Radley Balko takes the stage with his ‘Morning Links” at Washington Post’s’ “The Watch.” He hits on criminal justice, MRAPS for local law enforcement, and one more amazing forensic related fact. As I tweeted on Sunday (@csidds), TSA has spent $1 BILLION on “face-reading” for “honesty or lying” training for their officers. The world is surely going to the dogs (as in dogs sniffing ‘positive’ for drugs at traffic stops when there aren’t any drugs) when another unreliable ‘forensic technique” is added to law enforcement methods producing a “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” to detain a subject. After arrest and asset forfeiture, suspects get a DNA sample taken and (depending on which of the 27 US states which allow custodial DNA collection for arrestees ) off to a database it goes. Quite a neat income train, I must say.

Cops accused of staging suspect’s appearance to convince witness to  ID. Judge said “harmless error.” He prefers other “strong circumstantial evidence” proving guilt. This is now on appeal to the 4th C Court by the Duke Innocence Project. 

Simplistic expose: 20 years of forensic bloodstain analysis in Ontario (With video). You won’t see such mundane blood evidence demos in the Pistorius case in South Africa where the blood “moved” according to the defense attorney. 

Preliminary report on using crime scene (or  from other locations) DNA profiling to predict certain facial features of unknown persons.  Ability is limited due to certain ethic features. More images here.  ‘New Scientist’ article with citations to original papers. Some call it “accurate” others call it “crude” but the implications are big if extensive research continues. What’s typical is that a co-investigator from U of Penn (the other team is at Belgium’s Catholic University of Leuven) states he is already using the protocol on two cold cases. Uhm.

About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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