This is from Joe who commented to this blog:
Thousands of Colorado DUI convictions could be in doubt amid forgery allegations:
Colorado lawyers specializing in drunken-driving cases are questioning the validity of thousands of convictions after a technician who certified the state’s breath-test machines said his signature was forged on more than 100 records in 2013.
In addition, a former laboratory director’s signature is still being used on some certificates more than a year after she left the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in July 2015. Those certificates are being used in DUI trials to prove machines were recording accurate blood-alcohol content.
“This is the lab we’re asking to go into court and testify to the veracity of their machines,” said Darren Cantor, president of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. “It really makes me question whether the CDPHE is capable of doing that.”
Being poor keeps innocent people in jail and generally ruins lives of many who are not accused of serious crimes. Missouri’s underfunded public defender office forces the poor to languish in jail https://interc.pt/2lThu4T by @chronic_jordan. But the @JusticeDept Sessions tells LEOs “good hunting.”
More “I don’t care’ DAs. How junk arson science convicted a mother of killing her own daughters https://interc.pt/2mpY6vj by @lilianasegura. (Long read).
Save the Nat’l Comm’n on Forensic Science- it has done more a great deal to increase reliability of evidence. @ErinMurphysLaw
Putting lawyers and cops in charge of science at the very highest levels. Traditionally, not a great idea. @maxmhouck
With Sessions being AG, I’m sure anti-forensic sci reformers will flock to this. http://www.thecfso.org/advocacy/20170214_CFSO_OFS_Proposal_Rev.pdf …
The NRA loves J Beauregard Sessions: “Going to right the ship at the DOJ’ of Obama’s neglect of the police and prosecutors causing increase in violent crime.
Bone by bone, Iraqis unearth a mass grave: ‘We will be out there digging until no one is left.’ LA Times.
University of Tennesse – Knoxville: Please contact medical and dental program with concerns on the ‘science of bitemark comparisons’ training in their dental curriculum. @utgsm
From The Marshall Project:
We spend $100 billion on policing and we have no clue about what works. We need good data to undertake the cost benefit analysis necessary for good policy. THE WASHINGTON POST
More: We have to investigate the police even if Jeff Sessions won’t. THE WASHINGTON POST
California Innocence Project Director Justin Brooks and exoneree Brian Banks in 2012.
Irvine, Calif., March 14, 2017 — The University of California, Irvine Newkirk Center for Science & Society is now the institutional home for the National Registry of Exonerations, the internationally recognized repository of information and research on exonerations of innocent defendants convicted of crimes in the U.S.
Excerpt:“This is an important milestone for UCI and the Newkirk Center for Science & Society,” said Simon Cole, professor of criminology, law & society and director for the Newkirk Center for Science & Society. “The registry is a dynamic project that enhances our longstanding tradition of research and teaching in the area of wrongful convictions and strengthens our commitment to studying the interaction between science and social justice across disciplines, including law, criminology and literary journalism.”
From @LilianaSegura. She spent two years on this and it’s worth the ‘long read.’
“How junk arson science convicted a mother of killing her own daughters.”
Media statements say that Sessions and his USDOJ does not read its own reports. And he admits it.
Tell them that the following is not /anəkˈdōdl/ (not necessarily true or reliable; without facts or research). Here is his USDOJ address https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice
Texas Tribune: Study Finds Harris County Leads Nation in Exonerations
NPR and WBUR’s Here & Now: Reports Find Record Number of Exonerations, and Race Plays a Major Role
Thanks to the NationalRegistryOfExonerations@umich.edu,
When forensic reform was trending
The Obama-era Commission on Forensic Science just finished its proposals for better over sight on forensics by the Executive branch in the form of an Office on Forensic Science. It’s been under development back to Obama’s first term and Congressional studies and bill proposals by Senators Leahy and Rockefeller. Additional reviews by the National Academy of Science, the last President’s Council on Science and Technology along with statements from other non-police managed scientific organizations round out major contributions regarding problem-based reforms.
The rise of a ‘don’t care’ climate of forensic police policy
In an extension of his ‘anecotal’ dry-labbing of crime statistics in Chicago, I’m sure now US Attorney General Sessions considers looks at forensic science by the NAS and PCAST to be merely ‘anecdotal.’ The previous AG, Loretta Lynch did her version of “I don’t care” as well.
Of course, the National Registry of Exonerations list of 2000 cases must also be anecdotal.
The media continues uncovering police crime lab scandals nearly each week. These are facts, and are not excusable. Try these:
US crime lab scandals (PBS)
‘Massachusetts’ crime lab scandal worsens.’ (Slate)
‘CSI is a Lie: America’s forensic investigation system is overdue for sweeping reform.’ (The Atlantic)
and …..here.’ A list of major crime lab scandals from 2012 to 2015.
A counter-punch to forensic reform
Here is a major apologist for the crime lab directors and seems to be a reform denier of great self-importance. He is saying the NCFS is a ‘liberal’ conspiratorial-based waste of time and effort. Other views are included in this recent viral ThinkProgress article on junk forensic science antidotes. Among them is AG Session’s thread saying law enforcement is bothered by federal scrutiny and ‘micro-managing.’
Forensic science is not immune to the need for retesting and consideration of its’ flawed methods -Anon
The number of exonerations in the US is probably going to increase with the addition of ‘new DNA technology’ evidence recovered from a bitemark used to ‘match’ teeth of Alfred Swinton in his Connecticut 20o1 conviction. This case includes another bitemark expert recanting his original testimony. This is his second time. The dentist’s first time is Keith Harvard who was released recently on the same basis of forensic flaws in bitemark pattern matching.
Connecticut has its share of bitemark identification flaws. The Kunco bitemark has a dentist still authenticating his past opinions of ” a match” with his reluctant current opinion of “cannot exclude” via tooth marks, decades after the original trial. The bitemarkers cohort are all on the faculty at the University of Tennessee Knoxville and are currently teaching newbie dentists about bitemark pattern comparisons this July. See the bitemark course syllabus here. Look at Wednesday pm. All it now says is ‘Bitemarks’ for the entire afternoon. It originally was described as recognition, documentation and ‘bitemark comparisons.”
It only costs $2700 plus expenses. Too bad this course has the esteemed UT faculty of Anthropology (including it’s famed Professor Bill Bass, the original ‘Body Farm innovator’) involved with this bunch. Dental and Anthropological identification of individuals and mass disaster (natural and man made) victims are too important to be used as a vehicle for these few desperate dentists to claim academic legitimacy.
“The gene, called CDH2, causes arrhythmogenic right ventricle cardiomyopathy (ARVC), which is a genetic disorder that predisposes patients to cardiac arrest and is a major cause of unexpected death in seemingly healthy young people.”
Let’s see if any of this type of research could be extrapolated to clarify some of the assumptions regarding ‘violence’ in of Sudden Infant death cases. (aka the SBS ‘triad’ that has been so popular with prosecutors and SBS proponents when children show up dead with ‘petechial ocular hemorrhages and few other physical findings.
Full article at Science Daily
NC hates to send their forensic lab experts to court to attest to their labwork and experience the joy of cross-examination. That’s since Melendez- Diaz happened in 2009. It threw crime lab techs into court to authenticate and defend their work.
It now imposes a ‘monetary recoupment’ or ‘general cost recovery’ against criminal defendants in order to defray government expenses for ‘court services.’ Apparently these opposing views have not been clearly tested on constitutional grounds. All this surrounds a defendant’s access to the Confrontation Clause and the Right to Remain Silent being diminished.
Here’s an opposing view from defense attorneys can take about defendant fees are :
“Because the NC statute applies only to the prosecution’s forensic experts, defense lawyers might argue that the statute has no legitimate purpose other than to chill the assertion of newly recognized confrontation rights.”
Here is more on this attempt to keep police crime labbers from testifying. I’m sure the District Attorneys in these cases will consider themselves to be knowledgeable scientific substitutes.