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Forensic Magazine

Israel's Supreme Court Rules Footprints are Problematic Evidence

December 6, 2013 10:23 am | by Revital Hovel, Haaretz | Comments

An Iraeli Supreme Court ruling this week could aid the defense of Roman Zadorov. Zadorov was convicted in 2010 partly on the basis of footprints found at the crime scene that seemed to match his shoes. But the Supreme Court, ruling in an unrelated case said that such prints, while not inadmissible as evidence, are problematic and of limited value — a conclusion that has become increasingly common worldwide in recent years.

In the Dark No Longer

December 6, 2013 9:59 am | by Evan Tuchinsky, | Comments

As of November 20, the time-line for receiving results of DNA tests related to cases of sexual violence has changed drastically in Butte County, one of eight California counties included in a program called Rapid DNA Service (RADS).     


Intelligence: Forensics as a Weapon

December 6, 2013 9:44 am | by Strategy Page | Comments

Information from the past is becoming a more important factor in present and future conflicts. In Iraq, American troops collected an enormous amount of data that is expected to be useful in the future. This included data and material collected after each (well, most) incidents where American troops were in combat.


Forced Guilty Pleas in Drug Cases

December 5, 2013 4:49 pm | by Human Rights Watch | Comments

Federal prosecutors routinely threaten extraordinarily severe prison sentences to coerce drug defendants into waiving their right to trial and pleading guilty, Human Rights Watch has said in a report. In the rare cases in which defendants insist on going to trial, prosecutors make good on their threats. 


NY Train Wreck Could be Case of Highway Hypnosis

December 5, 2013 11:09 am | by Jennifer Peltz and Sam Hananel, Associated Press | Comments

It's sometimes called highway hypnosis or white-line fever, and it's familiar to anyone who has driven long distances along a monotonous route. Drivers are lulled into a semi-trance state and reach their destination with little or no memory of parts of the trip. But what if it happened to an engineer at the controls of a speeding passenger train?


Report Details the Extent of a Crime Lab Technician's Errors in Handling Evidence

December 5, 2013 11:03 am | by Joseph Goldstein, The New York Times | Comments

The crime lab technician mislabeled samples, using “the victim’s name instead of suspect’s name,” her evaluation said. Her supervisors disqualified her from testifying in court because of her inability to “explain and retain basic concepts.” A new report by the state inspector general’s office describes a troubling pattern of mistakes at the city’s premier crime lab, also considered among the best in the country.


Thirty-two-year-old Sticky Tape Links Killer to Victim

December 5, 2013 10:38 am | by NineMSN | Comments

British police have used a 32-year-old piece of sticky tape to link a killer to his teenage victim decades after her brutal death. Colin Campbell, 66, was found guilty of killing 17-year-old Claire Woolterton in August 1981.       


Can forensics help solve 35-year-old Connecticut murder?

December 5, 2013 10:21 am | by Susan Shultz, Darien Times | Comments

On December 4, 1978, a man touring an empty house on Ledge Road in Darien, Conn., for possible purchase made a gruesome discovery on its grounds — the body of an unidentified man. And that kick-started a case that remains unsolved for over three decades — something the Darien Police are hoping to change with advancements in DNA and forensic science.


The Use of Electrophoresis in Forensic Science

December 5, 2013 10:02 am | by Zoe Bianchi, Suite101 | Comments

Electrophoresis involves the separation of chemicals along a solid medium in the presence of an applied potential difference. In electrophoresis, chemicals such as blood proteins, DNA or inorganic ions can be separated according to differences in their mass and/or charge. Electrophoretic separation has uses in forensic science because it can be used to isolate and compare DNA, blood proteins and inorganic substances.


Stolen Cobalt-60 Found Abandoned in Mexico

December 5, 2013 9:47 am | by Olga Rodriquez, Associated Press | Comments

A missing shipment of radioactive cobalt-60 was found Wednesday near where the stolen truck transporting the material was abandoned in central Mexico, the country's nuclear safety director said. The highly radioactive material had been removed from its container, officials said, and one predicted that anyone involved in opening the box could be in grave danger of dying within days.


Newtown 911 Dispatcher Urged Callers to Take Cover

December 4, 2013 1:26 pm | by Jack Gillum and Michael Melia, Associated Press | Comments

Recordings of 911 calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that were released Wednesday show town dispatchers urged panicked callers to take cover, mobilized help and asked about the welfare of the children as gunshots could be heard at times in the background.


Man's Freedom Sought after DNA IDs New Suspect

December 4, 2013 11:58 am | by Associated Press | Comments

A law clinic established to seek freedom for convicts it believes are innocent says new DNA evidence tying another man to the 1996 rape-slaying of a northern Michigan woman discredits the confession of a mentally ill man now serving life in prison without parole.


Class Action Filed against Genetic Testing Company for Deceptive Marketing

December 4, 2013 11:46 am | by Associated Press | Comments

Mark Ankcorn of the San Diego-based Ankcorn Law Firm PC has filed a class action lawsuit against 23andMe, Inc. — a Mountain View, Calif., firm currently under scrutiny by the FDA — alleging that its marketing is deceptive, and that the results of its $99 genetic test are "not supported by any scientific evidence."


Prosecutor's Offices to Share Services of DNA Analyst

December 4, 2013 11:38 am | by My Central Jersey | Comments

A new DNA analyst has been hired to work at the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Forensics Laboratory in Westfield under a shared-services agreement reached between freeholders in Middlesex and Union counties in New Jersey.       


Newtown to Release 911 Calls from School Shooting

December 4, 2013 11:34 am | by Michael Melia, Associated Press | Comments

Recordings of 911 calls from the Newtown school shooting are being released, days after a state prosecutor dropped his fight to continue withholding them despite an order to provide them to The Associated Press.           



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