14 year old executed in 1944 gets conviction tossed, Forensics reform, 1st A rights of a police chief takes a hit, and some forensic research

Forensic reform

Statistics and the NIST Committee on forensic science. Apparently each working group (OSAC) gets its own stat person.   “This subcommittee will focus on standards and guidelines related to examination of body fluids or tissues for the presence and quantity of substances such as drugs or poisons in ante- or post-mortem casework. Evidence examples include those substances and metabolites following ingestion, and might include physiological specimens such as blood, urine, hair, teeth, bone, spinal fluid, and organ and muscle tissue.” No doubt the NIST bitemark sub-committee will have to get their own copy of “Statistics for Dummys.” This group has no data in its literature to analyze.

Criminal Justice

George Stinney was 14 years old at the time of his execution in 1944. 70 years ago.  Conviction reversed this year.

Richmond CA police chief gets grief from his police union over his attending a non-violent “BlackLivesMatter” rally. 

Cases in the News

Sydney gunman shot one of the two victims at the Lint chocolate shop. 

Ex state non-forensic pathologist’s shaken baby theories get tossed in court appeal. “So much wrong with Shaken Baby conviction that it was overturned w/o relying on junk science argument” : http://wapo.st/1C0bWn2  : http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/12/16/mississippi-supreme-court-overturns-conviction-involving-steven-hayne-shaken-baby-syndrome/

Forensic Research Compilation

Comment: Forensic science news release generally are published by the researchers’ university public relations departments. Statements claiming effectiveness and accuracy are frequent. Proofs of repeat testing by other academic colleagues are few. This lends itself to those active in the forensic reform groups saying that forensics is not strictly classic science. It seems the the forensic culture is more akin to innovators coming up with one-off products with only in-house findings. 

CT scans could bolster unidentified remains cases. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114103017.htm

Forensics: Fingerprint problem on ATM bills and receipt thermal paper solved? http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140528204217.htm …

Forensics: Inexpensive fluorescent DNA sensors. “sensitive enough to detect individual mismatches between the bases” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429125506.htm …

Forensics: Gender and ethnicity identity from hair. Claims 100% rate. Already suggested to law enforcement? http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140529142542.htm …


About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in criminal justice, Forensic Science, forensic science reform and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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