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Recent estimates indicate that as many as 15 of every 100 incarcerated offenders where DNA was an element in their trial may be wrongfully convicted because of misused DNA evidence matching techniques. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability

Examining Ways to Reduce Error in Expert Forensic Testimony

July 2, 2015 12:27 pm | by Carolyn Wong, Eyal Aharoni, Gursel Rafig oglu Aliyev and Jacqueline Du Bois, NIJ | News | Comments

Recent estimates indicate that as many as 15 of every 100 incarcerated offenders where DNA was an element in their trial may be wrongfully convicted because of misused DNA evidence matching techniques. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of expert blinding and consensus feedback to improve the validity of expert testimony, specifically in the context of forensic science.

In the Future, DNA Could Put a Face to the Crime

July 2, 2015 11:13 am | by Anthony King, Irish Times | News | Comments

What if finding DNA was all the police needed to know what a suspect looked like? This could...

Prosecuting Decades-Old Rape Kits Means Extending the Statute of Limitations in Ohio

July 2, 2015 9:36 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

A new bill in Ohio is attempting to keep the window of opportunity for prosecution open, by...

Auditor Says Rape Kit Backlog Means Criminals Go Free

July 1, 2015 1:16 pm | by James Pilcher, The Enquirer | News | Comments

The number of untested rape kits throughout Kentucky could number in the thousands, state...

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People found guilty of crimes in Wisconsin must pay to have their DNA collected — but ambiguous wording in the law may mean they're not all paying the same amount.

State Requires DNA Tests, but Who Pays What?

June 29, 2015 11:05 am | by Sari Leski, Stevens Point Journal | News | Comments

People found guilty of crimes in Wisconsin must pay to have their DNA collected — but ambiguous wording in the law may mean they're not all paying the same amount.

Problems in the Connecticut state police crime lab delayed for at least four years the identification of a woman investigators think was killed by suspected serial killer William Devin Howell and hindered their ability to match several different samples o

Problems at Lab Slowed Serial Killer Probe; Several Victims' DNA Found in Suspect's Van

June 26, 2015 1:05 pm | by Dave Altimari and Alaine Griffin, The Courant | News | Comments

Problems in the Connecticut state police crime lab delayed for at least four years the identification of a woman investigators think was killed by suspected serial killer William Devin Howell and hindered their ability to match several different samples of DNA found in Howell's van, The Courant has learned.

In the Public Eye: Why Testing the Rape Kit Backlog Works

June 24, 2015 4:12 pm | by Forensic Magazine | Videos | Comments

Dwayne Wilson was sentenced to life last week in Ohio after his DNA matched rape kit evidence relating to assaults on four women in Cleveland in the 1990s. Wilson, who the judge called “the worst of the worst,” was about to be released from prison when evidence from a 20-year-old rape kit kept the serial pedophile behind bars.

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Recent admissions by the FBI involving data errors in calculating DNA probabilities are challenging the infallibility of DNA evidence, a science with a longstanding reputation of as the forensic gold standard. Prosecutors and bureau officials say the mist

Crime-Scene DNA Errors Spark Complex Legal Questions

June 24, 2015 11:49 am | by Megan Cassidy, The Arizona Republic | News | Comments

Recent admissions by the FBI involving data errors in calculating DNA probabilities are challenging the infallibility of DNA evidence, a science with a longstanding reputation of as the forensic gold standard. Prosecutors and bureau officials say the mistakes will have a minimal effect on criminal cases, but the real impact of the revelations in courtrooms across the country remains to be seen.

The Urban Institute contracted with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to conduct an evaluation of its 2008 Forensic DNA Unit Efficiency Improvement Program. The findings suggest that there is some evidence in support of the hypothesis that crime lab

Evaluation of the Forensic DNA Unit Efficiency Improvement Program

June 24, 2015 8:28 am | by David Hayeslip, Sara Debus-Sherrill and Kelly A. Walsh, NIJ | News | Comments

The Urban Institute contracted with the NIJ to conduct an evaluation of its 2008 Forensic DNA Unit Efficiency Improvement Program. The findings suggest that there is some evidence in support of the hypothesis that crime lab DNA processing can be improved in novel and innovative ways besides simply increasing capacity.

Rare DNA Process Allowed in Whalen Murder Case

June 23, 2015 1:37 pm | by Edith Brady-Lunny, Pantagraph.com | News | Comments

Whalen is serving 60 years in the 1991 death of his father, William Whalen, whose badly beaten body was found at the former Twenty Grand Tap, a bar the elder Whalen owned in downtown Bloomington.

DNA Match Refocuses Search for Escaped Murderers

June 22, 2015 2:15 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

DNA found in a cabin in a heavily wooded part of New York State has refocused the hunt for two killers who broke out of prison more than two weeks ago, according to reports.

NC Rape Victims Waiting 2+ Years for DNA Test Results

June 22, 2015 1:16 pm | by Ann McAdams, WECT | News | Comments

At last check, prosecutors in North Carolina say the state is still processing rape kits submitted from 2 and a half years ago, and the wait for kits to be tested in the state lab is getting longer.

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Biologist Samuel Wasser is a pioneer in using DNA evidence to trace the origin of illegal ivory and help police an international trade that is decimating African elephant populations. The broadest application yet uses DNA from tons of ivory samples associ

Evidence From Ivory DNA Identifies Two Main Elephant Poaching Hotspots

June 19, 2015 2:22 pm | by Hannah Hickey and Michelle Ma, University of Washington | News | Comments

Biologist Samuel Wasser is a pioneer in using DNA evidence to trace the origin of illegal ivory and help police an international trade that is decimating African elephant populations. The broadest application yet uses DNA from tons of ivory samples associated with large-scale trafficking. Results show that over the past decade, ivory has largely come from just two areas in Africa – one each for the forest and savanna elephants. 

Massachusetts highest court has ruled that the twin brother of a man charged with murder does not have to share his DNA profile with Suffolk prosecutors, who contend the genetic information could help prove who stabbed a South Boston woman to death in her

Murder Suspect's Twin Does Not Have to Give DNA, High Court Rules

June 18, 2015 1:07 pm | by John R. Ellement, The Boston Globe | News | Comments

Massachusetts highest court has ruled that the twin brother of a man charged with murder does not have to share his DNA profile with Suffolk prosecutors, who contend the genetic information could help prove who stabbed a South Boston woman to death in her home in 2012.

Larry Ray Swearingen has avoided execution five times for the 1998 kidnapping, rape and murder of Melissa Trotter of Willis. Swearingen continues to profess his innocence. Meanwhile, his capital murder case continues to lie at the center of a debate over

Debate Over DNA Testing Delaying Fate of Texas Killer

June 17, 2015 9:31 am | by Cindy Horswell, Houston Chronicle | News | Comments

Larry Ray Swearingen has avoided execution five times for the 1998 kidnapping, rape and murder of Melissa Trotter of Willis. Swearingen continues to profess his innocence. Meanwhile, his capital murder case continues to lie at the center of a debate over when post-conviction DNA testing should be allowed in Texas.

This DNA Sequencer Fits in the Palm of Your Hand

June 16, 2015 1:32 pm | by Duncan Geere, Techradar | News | Comments

The miniaturization breakthrough could allow for more personalized medical diagnosis and better research in the field.

A forensic analyst testified in Fairfax County Circuit Court that DNA found underneath a fingernail of the victim of a vicious 2005 sexual assault in Fairfax City came from one man.

Forensic Expert: DNA Under Victim's Nail in Matthew Case From One Man

June 10, 2015 3:00 pm | by Justin Jouvenal and T. Rees Shapiro, The Washington Post | News | Comments

A forensic analyst testified in Fairfax County Circuit Court that DNA found underneath a fingernail of the victim of a vicious 2005 sexual assault in Fairfax City came from one man.

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DNA From Last Missing Quake Victims Received

June 9, 2015 10:18 am | by Julia Chan, Malay Mail Online | News | Comments

​Genetic samples from families of the two missing Singaporeans climbers still missing have been submitted to Malaysian forensic authorities to enable comparison with body parts retrieved from Mount Kinabalu following last week’s earthquake.

Suspect in 1982 Disappearance of Au Pair Died in 1988

June 8, 2015 11:25 am | by Gary Klien, Marin Independent Journal | News | Comments

A convicted rapist who was a suspect in the 1982 disappearance of a Marin County au pair — a case that generated renewed interest recently when the woman’s remains were identified after more than three decades ­— apparently did not live much longer than she did.

It took dogged work and a scientific breakthrough, but Los Angeles County homicide detectives and prosecutors believe they’ve solved the rape and murder of a 20-year-old Palmdale wife and mother of three whose body was found in a remote area of Acton abou

New Tech Leads to Arrests in Old Murder Case

June 5, 2015 3:14 pm | by Jim Holt, The Santa Clara Signal | News | Comments

It took dogged work and a scientific breakthrough, but Los Angeles County homicide detectives and prosecutors believe they’ve solved the rape and murder of a 20-year-old Palmdale wife and mother of three whose body was found in a remote area of Acton about 35 years ago.

Debbie Smith, the namesake of a watershed act to eliminate the backlog of hundreds of thousands of rape-testing kits sitting on law enforcement shelves nationwide, says the end could be in sight.

Debbie Smith Says End of Rape-Kit Backlog is Near

June 4, 2015 3:33 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Debbie Smith, the namesake of a watershed act to eliminate the backlog of hundreds of thousands of rape-testing kits sitting on law enforcement shelves nationwide, told Forensic Magazine that the end could be in sight.

Who was the "devious defecator" leaving their "offending fecal matter" across an Atlanta-area warehouse that stored and delivered products for grocery stores?

Hunt for the Rogue Pooper - Company Demands DNA Swabs, Employees Sue

June 4, 2015 12:53 pm | by David Kravets, Ars Technica | News | Comments

Who was the "devious defecator" leaving their "offending fecal matter" across an Atlanta-area warehouse that stored and delivered products for grocery stores?

If the cryptographic analysis reaches a dead end, the question of the Somerton Man's identity can also be approached by testing his DNA and comparing it to that of millions of other individuals on genealogical databases.

Somerton Man's Identity Still Remains a Mystery: DNA, Isotopes and Autopsy

June 3, 2015 2:53 pm | by Lisa Zyga, Phys.org | News | Comments

If the cryptographic analysis reaches a dead end, the question of the Somerton Man's identity can also be approached by testing his DNA and comparing it to that of millions of other individuals on genealogical databases.

Police often use DNA to solve murder mysteries and rapes. But last year, they used it to determine who spit into a customer's soda at a Chili's restaurant in Clay, New York.

Customer Suspects Annoyed Waiter Spit in Soda; Police Use DNA to Prove It

June 3, 2015 2:25 pm | by John O'Brien, syracuse.com | News | Comments

Police often use DNA to solve murder mysteries and rapes. But last year, they used it to determine who spit into a customer's soda at a Chili's restaurant in Clay, New York.

Rape Victims Still Paying for Exams in Some States

June 3, 2015 2:07 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

In some places in the United States, rape victims pay for their own medical examinations after an attack – despite federal law. But legislation in some states is seeking to ban such practices.

Police say a cutting-edge DNA test could identify which identical twin was the stranger who raped a student 16 years ago in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, but sticker shock is delaying justice.

More Than $100K Needed for Test to ID Identical Twin Rapist

June 3, 2015 1:19 pm | by Ken Kolker, WWLP.com | News | Comments

Police say a cutting-edge DNA test could identify which identical twin was the stranger who raped a student 16 years ago in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, but sticker shock is delaying justice.

In D.C. Lab Scandal, Mayor Accused of Foul Play

May 29, 2015 1:50 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Articles | Comments

A letter of resignation from a member of the Washington D.C. Science Advisory Board stoked further speculation that the mayor and the District Attorney’s office may have ordered the two audits that shut down DNA testing last month in an attempt to seize control of the laboratory.

Suspect Captured in D.C. Quadruple Homicide

May 22, 2015 9:51 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Wint was allegedly leaving a hotel in Washington D.C. with two females in a car, followed by two men driving a box truck with $10,000 cash inside.

Manhunt Underway in D.C. Quadruple Homicide After DNA Found on Pizza

May 21, 2015 11:09 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Daron Dylon Wint, 34, is now being sought in the killing of a man, woman, their son, and their housekeeper after DNA evidence on a piece of Domino's piece was found at the murder scene. 

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