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.
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.
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.
As part of its efforts to improve the scientific basis of forensic evidence used in courts of law, the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have made the first appointments to a new organization dedicated to identifying and fostering development and adoption of standards and guidelines for the nation's forensic science community.
A former Houston crime laboratory technician blamed for leaving behind dozens of questionable test results admitted to colleagues that he knew he wasn't following proper procedures after results from one of his tests were found faulty, according to a Houston Police Department internal investigation report.
Development and Validation of SOP for Measuring Microbial Populations for Estimating a Postmortem IntervalJune 26, 2014 9:02 am | by Jeffrey Tomberlin, Tawni Crippen, M. Eric Benbow and Aaron Tarone, NIJ | Comments
Predicting the postmortem interval of a decedent is a major task of law enforcement. Most death investigators rely on qualitative information (i.e., rigor mortis, livor mortis). However, no data are available on using microbes, which represent 99 percent of somatic cells in and on a human body, to estimate the time since death of a decedent.
Testing for cocaine and other drugs usually involves two steps: a quick on-site prescreen, and then a more accurate confirmatory test at a distant laboratory. Now, researchers report development of a backpack-sized device that can perform highly accurate and sensitive tests anywhere within 15 minutes.
Increasingly authorities are using forensic methods to track and trace the origins of seized ivory, providing the means to tackle enforcement problems in the country where the animal was killed, rather than just the point where the attempt was made to smuggle it out of the continent of Africa.
In a strong defense of digital age privacy, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police may not generally search the cellphones of people they arrest without first getting search warrants. Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged that barring searches would affect law enforcement, but said: "Privacy comes at a cost."
Automotive vehicles can be identified from paint fragments left at the crime scene by comparing the color, layer sequence, and chemical composition of each individual layer of the paint. Comparisons are possible using the Paint Data Query (PDQ) database.
As the Delaware House gets ready for a fast-track vote on a bill to abolish the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and create a new crime lab, two national groups are expressing strong reservations about the change.
A research team has developed a facial recognition tool that promises to be useful in rapidly matching pictures of children with their biological parents and in potentially identifying photos of missing children as they age.
Ensuring that blood is properly handled and packaged at crime scenes is critical for both personal safety and evidence integrity. West Virginia University is offering a Blood Presumptive Testing and Enhancement training course on July 10-11, 2014.
The Society for Sedimentary Geology has announced an unusual paper in their journal PALAIOS that combines "forensic" paleontology and archeology to identify origins of the millstones commonly used in the 1800’s.
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has granted approval of the Life Technologies GlobalFiler Kit for forensic laboratories that generate DNA profiles and upload them to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database.