Forensics and Law for the Week: From the News and Courts in the US

Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Michigan State University have published a new study on the development of an algorithm that can determine whether a fingerprint found at a crime scene contains enough information to be uploaded to AFIS (

“DNA Experts Present First Exoneration Based on False Y-STR Inclusion”
(Forensic Magazine)
Related: FSI Genetics

“DNA collected at arrest often not removed from crime databases for those not convicted” (

Patrick Pursley, an Illinois man convicted in 1994 of murder (who has maintained his innocence), has been granted a new trial due to inaccurate ballistics/firearm science and exaggerated expert testimony used in his original trial (Forensic Magazine)

In the latest battle over surveillance and internet privacy, the Department of Justice has demanded internet hosting company Dreamhost hand over all its users’ data—including “’all records or other information’ pertaining to, including log files showing who visited the website, when, from where, and what they looked at, and all emails related to the website”—in order to identify people who protested during the current president’s inauguration (NY Times)

“Police Body Camera Company, Axon, Is Vacuuming In Data, Stoking Privacy Concerns”
(International Business Times)

An article in the Marshall Project discusses a current Massachusetts Supreme Court case in which the justices used new evidentiary standards to overturn Victor Rosario’s conviction. The author argues that this standard would make it easier for wrongful convictions to be overturned, unlike the restrictive standards employed by most jurisdictions in the United States.

Reasonably Suspicious: Bethke leaves TIDC, cap-and-trade to limit incarceration?, DNA-mixture SNAFUs, and more

Just Liberty’s latest “Reasonably Suspicious” podcast for August features discussions of important issues and fresh ideas confronting Texas’ criminal justice system. (This is the last episode in our summertime “soft launch” before promoting the show more widely beginning in September.) Listen to the podcast here, or read a transcript below the jump:


About csidds

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

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