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The Lead

How Microscopic Algae Are Helping Forensic Teams Catch Criminal

April 13, 2016 | by Kristie R. Scott, The Conversation | Comments

From deserted fields and dark forests to murky rivers and concrete jungles, environments can leave traces of physical evidence on a criminal.


Officer Acquitted on All Charges in Freddie Gray Case

May 23, 2016 12:31 pm | by Juliet Linderman, Associated Press | Comments

A Baltimore officer was acquitted Monday of assault and other charges in the arrest of Freddie Gray, dealing prosecutors a significant blow in their attempt to hold police accountable for the young black man's death from injuries he suffered in the back of a police van.


Big-Picture Solution Needed in Drug Lab Scandals

May 23, 2016 12:21 pm | by The Boston Globe | Comments

The Commonwealth's drug lab scandal widened in scope this month with revelations about the misdeeds of Sonja Farak, a state chemist who regularly got high on the job by dipping into drug samples and stores of evidence.


Supreme Court Throws Out Death Sentence From All-White Jury

May 23, 2016 12:05 pm | by Mark Sherman, Associated Press | Comments

The Supreme Court ruled decisively in favor of a death-row inmate in Georgia on Monday, chastising state prosecutors for improperly keeping African-Americans off the jury that convicted him of killing a white woman.


Forensic Team Analyzes Remains Found at Llama Farm

May 20, 2016 9:11 am | by Borys Krawczeniuk, The Citizens' Voice | Comments

Forensic anthropologists led by a top expert in the field arrived Monday in Pike County to examine the human remains at the center of what a prosecutor for the first time called a criminal homicide investigation.


Forensic Scientist Helps Vietnamese Counterparts Identify Wartime Remains

May 20, 2016 8:45 am | by National Institute of Standards and Technology | Comments

Vietnam is undertaking a similar effort to identify its war dead, and Mike Coble was in Hanoi this April presenting the latest methods to Vietnamese scientists.


Judge Says Suspect Has Right to Review Code that FBI Has Right to Keep Secret

May 19, 2016 9:38 am | by Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica | Comments

A federal judge in Tacoma, Washington has put himself in a Catch 22: ruling a man charged with possessing child pornography has the right to review malware source code while also acknowledging that the government has a right to keep it secret.


Ex-officer's Murder Charge in St. Louis Raises Questions

May 19, 2016 9:31 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

A St. Louis prosecutor and former police chief are at odds over the timing of a murder charge filed against a former officer.

Forensic DNA Evidence Is Not Infallible

May 18, 2016 4:47 pm | by Cynthia M. Cale, Nature | Comments

Despite how it is often portrayed, in the media and in courts, the forensic science of DNA is far from infallible. Particularly concerning is that police and prosecutors now frequently talk of 'touch DNA' — genetic profiles of suspects and offenders that have been generated in a laboratory from just a handful of skin cells left behind in a fingerprint.


Large Reductions in Prison Population Can Be Made Without Endangering Public Safety, Study Says

May 18, 2016 4:41 pm | by Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. Indianapolis (IUPUI) | Comments

A paper published in the journal Criminology & Public Policy addresses one of the most important crime policy questions in America: Can prison populations be reduced without endangering the public?

Few Consumers Penalize Hacked Companies

May 18, 2016 4:38 pm | by RAND Corporation | Comments

About a quarter of American adults reported that they were notified about their personal information being part of a data breach in the previous year, but only 11 percent of those who have ever been notified say they stopped doing business with the hacked company after the event occurred, according to a new RAND Corporation study.


US Intelligence: Foreign Hackers Spying on Campaigns

May 18, 2016 12:38 pm | by Deb Riechmann, Associated Press | Comments

The United States sees evidence that hackers, possibly working for foreign governments, are snooping on the presidential candidates, the nation's intelligence chief said Wednesday. 


Man Who Disappeared During Kidnapping Manhunt Found Dead

May 18, 2016 12:34 pm | by Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press | Comments

A Utah train maintenance worker who disappeared amid a manhunt for a father and son accused of a bizarre kidnapping was found dead along a route that the suspects likely took to get to their hideout in the Wyoming wilderness, authorities said Wednesday.


The False Promise of DNA Testing

May 17, 2016 12:54 pm | by Matthew Shaer, The Atlantic | Comments

The subject of the segment was the Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory, among the largest public forensic centers in Texas. By one estimate, the lab handled DNA evidence from at least 500 cases a year—mostly rapes and murders, but occasionally burglaries and armed robberies. 


Newsletters Released From Secretive National Security Agency

May 17, 2016 12:35 pm | by Deb Riechmann, Associated Press | Comments

In-house newsletters from the clandestine National Security Agency have been released by an online news site — part of the mountain of documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.


Woman Records Her Own Murder with Smartphone, Authorities Say

May 16, 2016 11:43 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

A woman murdered by her boyfriend had the foresight to audio record her own slaying in Pennsylvania, authorities said.



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