The owner of a now-closed Minnesota head shop has been sentenced to 17½ years in prison for selling synthetic drugs in a case that prosecutors said should remove any doubts that substances sold under such names as "incense," ''spice" and "bath salts" are illegal.
Over the past 20 years DNA evidence has become the foundation upon which forensic investigation is built. But as new identification technologies emerge at an ever quickening pace, new questions are being raised as to not only the efficacy of these technologies, but also their implications on privacy, civil liberties and validity.
Addressing the issues surrounding the testing of sexual assault kits (SAKs) is one of the most complex challenges facing our nation’s criminal justice system. To help find the best strategies, methods and procedures for dealing with SAKs, the FBI and NIJ have formed a research partnership. The long-range goal is improved practices and policies for law enforcement and crime labs.
The same technology used at crime scenes to link a stray hair to a suspect can also find antibiotics or other medications in milk and meat. And the use of sophisticated testing is becoming increasingly available for livestock producers, who stand to lose lots of money if their products are tainted.
DNA evidence can be critical to solve a crime, but a big backlog of cases means it could be months, or even years, before some of those samples get tested.
Solving crimes certainly involves police officers called to the scene, but it also takes those working a crime lab. Reality is much different from fiction. During National Forensic Science Week, crime labs across the country — including the Utah State Crime Lab — opened their doors to show the public what they really do.
A US fugitive on the lam for 14 years in connection with child sex abuse and kidnapping charges was apprehended in Nepal after authorities scanned his "wanted" poster with facial recognition tech. The FBI announced the arrest recently of Neil Stammer, a 48-year-old New Mexico musician and juggler who skipped out on charges in 1999.
Princeton Instruments, a leading manufacturer of sensitive low-light imaging and spectroscopic instruments, has recognized the innovative work of the Optical Spectroscopy Group headed by Jan Hála within the Department of Chemical Physics and Optics at Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic).
About $41 million has been earmarked to help expedite the nationwide processing of rape kits. Pending final budgetary approval, the funds would help local police agencies and crime labs address a severe backlog in the analysis of some 500,000 rape kits across the country.
Forensic meteorology is the science of using historic weather records, atmospheric data, eyewitness accounts, and reenactment simulations to determine the weather conditions at a specific time and location. It has been used in all sorts of circumstances. In a report, Elizabeth Austin and Peter Hildebrand tracked down a slew of court cases where a meteorologist was employed as an expert witness.
Leeds Forensic Systems, Inc., a global leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of forensic comparison microscopes and forensic imaging systems, has announced that it has sold its 500th forensic system.
The former live-in caretaker of a Pittsburgh-area mansion has died, ending criminal charges that he drank more than $102,000 worth of old whiskey that he was supposed to be guarding.
The Allegheny County Crime Lab in Pennsylvania analyzes more than 19,000 pieces of evidence a year. But despite funding labs run by the state police, Pennsylvania lawmakers have approved no money for Allegheny County's lab since 2011.
Hamilton Scientific recently announced that it has acquired the assets of the laboratory business of Dancker, Sellew and Douglas (DS&D) based in Somerville, New Jersey.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology are working to improve ballistics matching methods with assistance from the Prince George's County, Maryland, Police Department Crime Laboratory. Their work together will contribute to a collection of topographic data from thousands of fired bullets and cartridge cases.