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DNA Evidence Prompts New Trial in Detroit Rape Case

June 23, 2014 8:00 am | Comments

Donya Davis, 36, who was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, carjacking, armed robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm, was sentenced to 67 years in prison, but is now free on bond pending another trial after new DNA testing pointed to someone else.

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New Tool for the Identification of Human Trafficking Victims

June 23, 2014 7:50 am | Comments

Developed over the last seven years by the Vera Institute of Justice in collaboration with 11 victim service organizations in California, Colorado, New York, Texas and Washington, this NIJ-funded tool has been validated with a diverse sample of potential victims of trafficking and found reliable in predicting labor and sex trafficking.

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researchers discover sweat can cause corrosion of protective qualities of door knobs and taps within an hour of contact

Forensic Researcher Makes Unrelated Discovery

June 19, 2014 2:31 pm | by Univ. of Leicester | Comments

Sweaty hands can reduce the effectiveness of bacteria-fighting brass objects after just an hour of coming into contact with them.                                   

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Utah to Hire Private Labs to Analyze Rape Kits

June 19, 2014 2:09 pm | by Christopher Smart, The Salt Lake Tribune | Comments

For years, Utah law enforcement agencies have faced roadblocks to processing hundreds, if not thousands, of backlogged rape kits — the state crime lab was underfunded and understaffed. Now lawmakers have come up with funding for private laboratories to analyze them.

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A typical flashover sequence: A fire starts on a sofa; the fire generates a hot gas layer; the hot gas layer combusts; and finally, everything ignites floor to ceiling (flashover), enveloping the room in a blaze. NIST

Advances in Fire Investigation Enables Exoneration

June 19, 2014 11:55 am | by Hannah Rappleye, NBC News | Comments

For the 26 years David Lee Gavitt sat in a Michigan prison, he told everyone who would listen that he did not set the fire that killed his wife and two baby girls. Nearly 25 years would pass before some of the nation’s top fire experts would tell him they believed him.

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a bill that would make that mandatory is getting some fierce opposition from the State Sheriff's Association

Rape Kit Testing Opposed by Local Law Enforcement

June 19, 2014 11:33 am | by Dan Noyes, ABC 7 News | Comments

It might seem like common sense to test DNA evidence from sexual assaults to help catch more criminals, but a bill that would make that mandatory is getting some fierce opposition from the State Sheriff's Association in California. 

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Scores of pending criminal cases and past convictions could be in jeopardy

Cases Affected after Crime Lab Analyst Ousted

June 19, 2014 11:08 am | by Brian Rogers, Houston Chronicle | Comments

Scores of pending criminal cases and past convictions could be in jeopardy in the wake of revelations that a former Houston Police crime lab technician resigned after an internal investigation found evidence of lying, improper procedure and tampering with an official record.

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Two years after Scheck and Peter Neufeld started the Innocence Project in 1992, they were called upon to deploy their expertise in DNA evidence and its collection by the Simpson defense team.

Barry Scheck on the O.J. Trial, DNA Evidence and the Innocence Project

June 19, 2014 9:32 am | by Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times | Comments

The O.J. Simpson case, which began to unfold 20 years ago this month, was a blip — a significant one, but a blip — in Barry Scheck's legal career. Scheck is now better known as co-founder of the Innocence Project, the not-for-profit dedicated to using DNA evidence to free the innocent from prison, sometimes even from death row.

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An eight-month home burglary investigation in Boynton Beach, Florida seemed to be going up in smoke – until officers matched the DNA from a cigarette butt left at the crime scene to a suspect.

Cigarette Butt DNA Catches Up to Burglary Suspect after 8 Months

June 19, 2014 8:40 am | by Kate Jacobson, Sun Sentinel | Comments

An eight-month home burglary investigation in Boynton Beach, Florida seemed to be going up in smoke — until officers matched the DNA from a cigarette butt left at the crime scene to a suspect.             

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The humble blowfly could lead to better detection of methamphetamine in decomposing tissue.

Blowflies Can Detect Methamphetamine

June 19, 2014 8:23 am | by Chris Thomas, Science Network | Comments

The humble blowfly could lead to better detection of methamphetamine in decomposing tissue. A collaboration has explored the effect of MA on the development, growth rates and survival of the blowfly in relation to estimating post-mortem intervals.

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Basic Crime Scene Photography for Law Enforcement

Sharpen Your Crime Scene Photography

June 19, 2014 8:22 am | by NIJ | Comments

Law Enforcement officers will often be required to use advanced or dSLR cameras to photograph crime scenes. West Virginia University is offering a Basic Crime Scene Photography for Law Enforcement course.             

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Are 3D printers on their way to becoming weapon factories?

Step Away from the 3D Printer

June 19, 2014 8:22 am | by Barry Levine, Venture Beat | Comments

Are 3D printers on their way to becoming weapon factories? That question arises following a notice from the FBI that it is looking to buy a $20,000 Stratsys Objet24 Personal 3D printer because the printer can “support the advanced technical exploitation of evolving and existing high technology explosive devices.”

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A research group at NIST has demonstrated a new method for detecting ignitable liquids that could change the way arson fires are investigated. The new process for analyzing debris for traces of fire accelerants is faster and more accurate than conventiona

Analytic Technique Offers Arson Investigators Faster, More Accurate Results

June 18, 2014 9:49 am | by NIST | Comments

A research group at NIST has demonstrated a new method for detecting ignitable liquids that could change the way arson fires are investigated. The new process for analyzing debris for traces of fire accelerants is faster and more accurate than conventional methods and produces less waste.

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Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced its participation in a special online video feature series, "The Science Behind the FIFA World Cup," produced by SelectScience.

World Cup Science Protects Players and Fans with Criminalistics Tools

June 17, 2014 3:21 pm | Agilent Technologies, Inc. | Comments

Ahead of this year's FIFA World Cup, SelectScience traveled to Brazil to talk to leading scientists to learn how in-field and laboratory sciences are helping to protect players and fans during the tournament, and how scientific analysis tools can be used to manage athlete health and improve player performance.

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The workshop will cover the history of mass spectrometry and its modern applications, different applications of mechanisms and interpretation methods.

Forensic GC-MS Workshop

June 17, 2014 2:39 pm | by NIJ | Comments

This NIJ-funded, hands-on workshop will allow participants to improve their ability to carry out and interpret mass spectrometric analyses as well as solve common problems with instrumentation.                

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