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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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Familial DNA Search

Authorities Hope One Murder Holds Key to Another

June 17, 2014 1:27 pm | by Dan Hinkel and Steve Mills, Chicago Tribune | Comments

A DNA match has given new life to the troubled investigation into Holly Staker's 1992 rape and murder, and Lake County authorities are trying to solve her killing by reinvestigating a crime committed nearly a decade later.       

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Changes in marijuana laws in Washington have affected operations at state crime labs, which still must process the drug for cases involving juveniles and impaired drivers.

Marijuana Testing Takes Longer since Legalization

June 17, 2014 11:12 am | by Associated Press | Comments

Changes in marijuana laws in Washington have affected operations at state crime labs, which still must process the drug for cases involving juveniles and impaired drivers.                       

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The Crime Scene is Fluid: From Land to Water-Based Scenes

June 17, 2014 10:43 am | by NIJ | Comments

This NIJ-funded course will cover the basic concepts of clandestine grave discovery, control and excavation including for deaths occurring underwater.                             

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Police have released an image of a distinctive tattoo in an effort to identity a man whose dismembered body was found partially encased in cement inside a garage behind a Detroit home.

Police Have Tattoo Clue to Dismembered Man's Identity

June 17, 2014 9:35 am | by Associated Press | Comments

Police have released an image of a distinctive tattoo in an effort to identity a man whose dismembered body was found partially encased in cement inside a garage behind a Detroit home.                   

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 The problem is a backlog of untested rape kits, tens of thousands of them, each representing an alleged assault.

Long-forgotten Rape Evidence Finally Reveals Its Clues

June 17, 2014 9:14 am | by Monica Hesse, The Washington Post | Comments

Another day has begun at the Bode Technology laboratory in Lorton, Virginia. Another slow excavation of a national problem. The problem is a backlog of untested rape kits, tens of thousands of them, each representing an alleged assault.    

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Court Data Shows Growing Intolerance for Violence

June 16, 2014 12:52 pm | by Douglas Heaven, New Scientist | Comments

Society's tolerance for violence changed drastically during the Victorian era, according to a linguistic analysis of testimonies given in the Old Bailey, London's oldest criminal court.                   

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