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NIST to Establish Centers for Work in Forensics, Disaster Resilience

June 13, 2014 3:59 pm | by NIST | Comments

Officials at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have announced plans to establish two new research Centers of Excellence to work with academia and industry on issues in forensic science and disaster resilience.

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Online Shooting Reconstruction Training

June 13, 2014 3:35 pm | by NIJ | Comments

A key part of any shooting incident reconstruction is the determination of a projectile’s trajectory through items at the scene. Learn more about measurement, estimation, and other variables for shooting reconstruction in this online, on-demand course.

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Government Pushing Police to Keep Quiet on Surveillance

June 13, 2014 12:39 pm | by Jack Gillum and Eileen Sullivan, Associated Press | Comments

The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods.                 

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Op: Is There Flawed Journalism on Flawed Forensics?

June 13, 2014 12:23 pm | by DH Kaye | Comments

Recently, Slate magazine published an article by Mark Joseph Stern announcing that “Forensic Science Isn’t Science.” The writer’s objective — to urge that forensic science be conducted rigorously and fairly — is laudable. But just as shabby science should not be tolerated in the courtroom or the police station, journalism that pays little heed to the facts should not be acceptable in serious publications.

Possibility of Booby Traps Slowed Search for Body

June 13, 2014 11:51 am | by Jeff Manning, The Oregonian | Comments

It took Portland police four days to find the body of a homicide victim at a Northeast Portland house in part because they used extreme caution for fear of booby traps on the property.                   

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Florida Court Throws Out Conviction in '87 Killing

June 13, 2014 11:26 am | by Brendan Farrington, Associated Press | Comments

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday threw out the conviction of an Indiana man sentenced to death 25 years after a slaying that had no suspects until DNA on a cigarette butt was re-examined years after the crime.          

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Forensic Training Moves to New Facility

June 12, 2014 3:06 pm | by Juliana Torres, TBN Weekly | Comments

In the new laboratory of the National Forensic Science Technology Center in Largo, Florida, a group of military law enforcement students learned how to identify different chemicals using field tests recently.            

Best Practices in Sexual Assault Cases - Archived Seminar

June 12, 2014 2:45 pm | by NIJ | Comments

In the ongoing struggle to protect would-be victims from sexual predators, great advances are being made in forensic nursing research and practice, from strangulation assessment to the photographic documentation of injuries and beyond. NIJ's Forensic Science Technology Center of Excellence, in collaboration with the Duquesne University School of Nursing, hosted a full-day seminar on sexual assault investigations.

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Blood-splattered Crime Scene Pictures Shown in Court

June 12, 2014 11:31 am | by North-West Evening Mail | Comments

The jury in the trial of Jamie Armstrong was taken through the crime scene by forensic scientist Penelope Griffiths. She explained how she had examined blood-spattered evidence.                   

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FBI Embracing Facial Recognition to Catch Criminals

June 12, 2014 11:20 am | by David Kravets, Ars Technica | MorphoTrust USA | Comments

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is piloting a facial-recognition surveillance project that will store millions of mug shots, bureau Director James Comey has told lawmakers.                     

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Researchers Create Validated Tool to Identify Victims of Human Trafficking

June 12, 2014 11:11 am | by NIJ | Comments

Developed over the last seven years in collaboration with 11 victim service organizations, the Vera Institute of Justice's Trafficking Victim Identification Tool has been tested with a diverse sample of potential victims of trafficking and found reliable in predicting labor and sex trafficking.

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Local Illicit Drug Use Gauged in Real Time

June 12, 2014 8:27 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Much illegal drug use happens off the radar. To better approximate usage, scientists have been turning to wastewater. Like a lot of other compounds from pharmaceuticals and personal care products to pesticides, illegal drugs and their metabolic byproducts also persist in sewage. 

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Database of Dyes Helps Crime Scene Investigators

June 12, 2014 8:27 am | by Jay Price, News Observer | Comments

Chemistry students have begun the painstaking work of turning the huge collection of dyes, test swatches and documents into an online resource. When they’re done, crime-scene investigators and a host of other kinds of researchers around the world will be able to search through files of three-dimensional models of the thousands of unique molecules and information about their attributes.

Is Forensic Science Science?

June 11, 2014 10:59 am | by Mark Joseph Stern, Slate | Comments

Far from an infallible science, forensics is a decades-long experiment in which undertrained lab workers jettison the scientific method in favor of speedy results that fit prosecutors’ hunches.                

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Long Lost WWII Soldier Returned to Family

June 11, 2014 10:15 am | by Chris Barncard, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | Comments

Seventy years after the Canadian-born U.S. soldier Pfc. Lawrence S. Gordon died in a firefight as Allied forces chased Germans through Normandy, he will be laid to rest in his hometown of Eastend, Saskatchewan. Before he reaches Eastend, however, researchers will try to give Gordon's descendants more insight into the mystery that began when the 28-year-old was declared missing by the U.S. military.

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