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Once High-flying Prosecutor Faces Threat to Legacy

July 1, 2014 2:55 pm | by Tom Hays, Associated Press | Comments

Charles "Joe" Hynes broke onto the national scene in the 1980s as the special prosecutor appointed by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo to investigate a notorious racial attack in Howard Beach, Queens. In the decades that followed, Hynes established himself as a respected fixture as Brooklyn's district attorney. But a recent wave of bad publicity is threatening Hynes' legacy.

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DNA Experts Testify at Cisneros Trial

July 1, 2014 2:42 pm | by Peggy Senzarino, Globe Gazette | Comments

DNA matching a sample from Michael Cisneros was found on a pair of blue pajama bottoms belonging to a Mason City toddler who drowned in Willow Creek 20 years ago, a DNA expert testified Monday in Cisneros' murder trial.         

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Amanda Knox Co-defendant Changes Strategy

July 1, 2014 2:22 pm | Comments

In the long-running courtroom drama of the Amanda Knox case, her co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito, was summarily relegated by the media to a minor role, eclipsed by the attention focused on Knox, a pretty 21-year-old who captured the public spotlight. But, Sollecito and his legal team have announced a change of strategy in their upcoming appeal.

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Smart Software Reconstructs Crime Scene in 3D

July 1, 2014 12:42 pm | by Univ. of Hong Kong | Comments

A research team from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has developed a computer software for reconstruction of past events in three-dimensional space from surveillance videos.                     

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Synthetic marijuana is illegal to use in Louisiana. But it’s becoming the new drug of choice — exceeding cocaine — because many users think it’s a safe, modified version of marijuana.

Synthetic Marijuana Use Increasing in Louisiana

June 30, 2014 3:10 pm | by Marsha Shuler, The Advocate | Comments

Synthetic marijuana is illegal to use in Louisiana. But It’s becoming the new drug of choice — exceeding cocaine — because many users think it’s a safe, modified version of marijuana. It’s not, say law enforcement and health officials.   

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Iowa law enforcement officers are about to get what Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek calls a “valuable and important tool” that will help close “very important cases.”

Iowa to Expand DNA Collection from Criminals

June 30, 2014 2:27 pm | by James Lynch, The Gazette | Comments

Iowa law enforcement officers are about to get what Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek calls a “valuable and important tool” that will help close “very important cases.” However, a civil liberties advocate calls the collection of DNA from people who commit relatively low-level crimes “invasive, expensive and unnecessary” and said the process “diverts time and money away from more serious cases.”

Oscar Pistorius was not suffering from a mental illness when he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and was able to understand the wrongfulness of what he had done, according to psychiatric reports submitted Monday at the Olympic athlete's murder trial.

Mental Disorder Not Factor in Pistorius Shooting

June 30, 2014 2:18 pm | by Christopher Torchia, Associated Press | Comments

Oscar Pistorius was not suffering from a mental illness when he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and was able to understand the wrongfulness of what he had done, according to psychiatric reports submitted at the Olympic athlete's murder trial.

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Revelations that nuns had buried nearly 800 infants and young children in unmarked graves at an Irish orphanage during the last century caused stark headlines and stirred strong emotions and calls for investigation. Since then, however, a more sober pictu

Media Exaggerated Horror Tale at Irish Orphanage

June 30, 2014 2:06 pm | by Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press | Comments

Revelations that nuns had buried nearly 800 infants and young children in unmarked graves at an Irish orphanage during the last century caused stark headlines and stirred strong emotions and calls for investigation. Since then, however, a more sober picture has emerged that exposes how many of those headlines were wrong.

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This data collection sought to obtain data for evaluating prototypes of non-contact fingerprint acquisition systems developed by FlashScan3D by comparing the data to that captured using conventional livescan fingerprint systems, inked rolled prints, and a

Non-contact Multi-sensor Fingerprint Collection

June 30, 2014 11:33 am | by Bojan Cukic, Jeremy Dawson and Simona Crihalmeanu, NIJ | Comments

This data collection sought to obtain data for evaluating prototypes of non-contact fingerprint acquisition systems developed by FlashScan3D by comparing the data to that captured using conventional livescan fingerprint systems, inked rolled prints, and a commercial non-contact fingerprint device. 

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Crime scene investigators can tell what a criminal ate and drank before they committed a crime, thanks to pioneering fingerprint technology.

Fingerprints Reveal Last Meal and More

June 27, 2014 3:13 pm | by Sarah Griffiths, Daily Mail | Comments

Crime scene investigators can tell what a criminal ate and drank before they committed a crime, thanks to pioneering fingerprint technology. They could also use it to tell the police how long a fingerprint has been at the crime scene.     

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With new DNA evidence in hand, a divided Florida Supreme Court overturned the death sentence and conviction of a man found guilty nearly three decades ago of strangling a woman in Hernando County, Fla.

Florida Court Overturns Death Sentence for 1985 Killing

June 27, 2014 2:52 pm | by Lizette Alvarez, The New York Times | Comments

With new DNA evidence in hand, a divided Florida Supreme Court overturned the death sentence and conviction of a man found guilty nearly three decades ago of strangling a woman in Hernando County, Fla.             

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Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday signed into law timelines and processes for testing rape-evidence kits, a move backers said will ensure Michigan avoids encountering a backlog of the magnitude discovered after it took over Detroit's crime lab five years ago.

Gov OKs Rules for Testing Rape-evidence Kits

June 27, 2014 2:23 pm | by David Eggert, Associated Press | Comments

Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday signed into law timelines and processes for testing rape-evidence kits, a move backers said will ensure Michigan avoids encountering a backlog of the magnitude discovered after it took over Detroit's crime lab five years ago.

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The financial resources and manpower at the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory are dreadfully behind its ever-growing case load. The backlog affects the accused – both guilty and innocent – who might sit in jail for years before their cases go to trial

Underfunded State Crime Lab Could Mean Crisis for NC Court System

June 27, 2014 2:16 pm | by WRAL | Comments

The financial resources and manpower at the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory are dreadfully behind its ever-growing case load. The backlog affects the accused – both guilty and innocent – who might sit in jail for years before their cases go to trial.

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This report from the NIJ-sponsored Sensor, Surveillance, and Biometric Technologies Center of Excellence provides a summary of scenarios for the use of through-the-wall sensors by law enforcement and emergency response practitioners.

Through-the-wall Sensors for Law Enforcement

June 27, 2014 12:11 pm | by NIJ | Comments

This report from the NIJ-sponsored Sensor, Surveillance, and Biometric Technologies Center of Excellence provides a summary of scenarios for the use of through-the-wall sensors by law enforcement and emergency response practitioners.     

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New research into the chemical odors released by decomposing bodies is   providing forensic scientists with a powerful tool to determine how long a   person has been dead, a term known as post-mortem interval (PMI).

Cadaver Odor Reveals Forensic Secrets

June 26, 2014 1:50 pm | by Ruth Knowles, Chemistry World | Comments

Not many of us like to consider the complex chemical processes that begin after we die. But new research into the chemical odors released by decomposing bodies is providing forensic scientists with a powerful tool to determine how long a person has been dead. Understanding this "smell of death" also helps scientists understand how sniffer dogs discover buried disaster victims and locate clandestine graves.

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