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New Approaches & Emerging Technologies for Responding to Sexual Assault

September 8, 2014 6:57 am | Comments

On September 18, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m, the FTCoE will hold a forum on “Best Practices for the National Response to Sexual Assault Investigations.” This online and in-person forum will focus on emerging techniques and developments in evidence collection and analysis, forensic analysis using Y-STR capabilities, victim-centric care approaches, and the key factors that are essential to policy change. 

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Spanish Police Fight Crime with Social Media

September 8, 2014 6:44 am | Comments

When a European arrest warrant was issued recently for Brett and Naghemeh King, who took their cancer-stricken child out of a Hampshire hospital in the south of England without permission, the Spanish police did what has become increasingly common in the search for missing or wanted people: They posted an alert on Twitter.

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ND Attorney General's Office Awarded $63,000 for Forensic Services

September 5, 2014 8:25 am | Comments

Senator John Hoeven announced that the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice has awarded $63,029 to the North Dakota Office of the Attorney General. The grant will be used to improve the quality of forensic science and medical examiner services. The funds will also help improve the timeliness of forensic evidence analysis and help eliminate backlogs. 

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Police Tell Victims to Solve Crimes by Themselves

September 5, 2014 8:17 am | Comments

Crime victims are increasingly being told by some UK police forces to carry out their own investigations by speaking to neighbours, checking for CCTV images and seeing if their stolen property has been put up for sale on secondhand websites, the official police watchdog has warned.

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MD Autopsy Technicians Seek Better Pay

September 5, 2014 8:02 am | Comments

A dozen autopsy technicians who work at the Office of Chief State Medical Examiner have hired a private lawyer to advocate for better pay and fairer treatment. “The people who pick up our trash make more money than we do,” Amanda McGinnis, a five-year contract employee, says. “And we bag it up for them.”

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Forensic Research and Development Solves Crimes

September 5, 2014 7:49 am | Comments

Research and development is criminal justice’s silent but powerful partner. Strengthening the scientific foundation of forensics helps law enforcement identify suspects more quickly, prosecutors bring charges more accurately, and defense lawyers exonerate the innocent. NIJ’s investment in forensic R&D is our most enduring contribution to criminal justice.  

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New York Police Officers Test Body Cameras

September 5, 2014 7:42 am | Comments

The New York Police Department will begin equipping a small number of its officers with wearable video cameras, a pilot program geared toward eventually outfitting the nation’s largest police force with technology that promises greater accountability.  

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Forensic Sculptor Amanda Danning at LSC-Montgomery

September 4, 2014 10:34 am | Comments

For the past few years, nationally-recognized forensic artist Amanda Danning has been entertaining visitors at the Sam Houston Museum in Huntsville with her amazing facial reconstruction. Lone Star College-Montgomery’s Academy for Lifelong Learning, in collaboration with The Sons of the Republic of Texas, is offering a history lecture featuring the forensic sculptor from 1-3 p.m. Sept. 16. 

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Omaha Police, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Share Lab Services

September 4, 2014 10:25 am | Comments

More Omahans who are burglarized would see a crime lab technician under a proposal to share services between Douglas County’s two largest law enforcement agencies. The plan would consolidate some functions of the Omaha and Douglas County crime labs, but not merge the labs themselves. Mayor Jean Stothert said the deal would give taxpayers better service for their money.

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Why Smaller Bullets Are Deadlier

September 4, 2014 9:56 am | Comments

The long range rifle has been around since the 19th century, a short 100 years after Daniel Bernoulli published his book, Hydrodynamica, on the relationship between pressure and potential energy (or speed) of a fluid. The jist of his principle relates an increase in speed of a fluid to a decrease in pressure. 

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DNA Evidence Clears Two Men in 1983 Murder

September 3, 2014 10:50 am | Comments

The case of two North Carolina men cleared of 30-year-old murder charges provides one of the most dramatic examples yet of the potential harm from false, coerced confessions and of the power of DNA tests to exonerate the innocent.      

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Arias Gains Crime Scene Access

September 3, 2014 10:31 am | Comments

It’s been more than six years since Jodi Arias brutally murdered her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, inside his Mesa, Arizona, home. The crime scene - especially the master bathroom featured so heavily in graphic evidence photos - has been changed drastically since then. So what could Arias possibly gain by getting permission from a judge to send her investigator back to "observe" the home?

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Crime scene investigators can tell what a criminal ate and drank before they committed a crime, thanks to pioneering fingerprint technology.

Improve Your Court Testimony on Latent Prints

September 3, 2014 10:11 am | Comments

Due to popular demand, another session has been added for the online course, “The Emperor’s New Clothes: A Guide to Latent Print Testimony,” on Tuesday, September 9, at 11 a.m. The course is taught by The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence at RTI International and funded through an award by the National Institute of Justice. Registration is free and open to all. 

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To say that developments in “Rapid DNA” have been progressing quickly is an understatement. From a front page USA Today article headline reading “Rapid DNA Test Could Transform Crime Fight”, to its first use in a criminal prosecution and, most importantly

DNA Could Exonerate Two in NC Death Row Case

September 2, 2014 10:14 am | Comments

Two North Carolina men who have been behind bars for 30 years, one of them on death row, will go before a judge on Tuesday morning to present new DNA evidence of their innocence of the murder and rape for which they were convicted as teenagers in 1984.  

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Backlog Led to Delay in Police Misconduct Case

September 2, 2014 9:58 am | Comments

Chicago Police Commander Glenn Evans allegedly shoved the barrel of his gun down the throat of Rickey J. Williams in Jan 2013, an act corroborated via DNA testing. So why did it take until Wednesday to charge Evans with aggravated battery and misconduct? According to Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, it was because of a backlog of cases awaiting DNA testing at the Illinois State Police crime lab.

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