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The U.S. saw a record number of exonerations in 2014, and it was due in part to 33 cases in Texas in which individuals had their drug convictions dismissed after lab tests determined they never had illegal substances, a report released Tuesday shows.

Record Number of Exonerations Driven by Texas Drug Cases

January 27, 2015 1:34 pm | by Juan A. Lozano, Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. saw a record number of exonerations in 2014, and it was due in part to 33 cases in Texas in which individuals had their drug convictions dismissed after lab tests determined they never had illegal substances, a report released Tuesday shows.

Workshop on Cognitive Factors in Forensic Decision-Making

January 26, 2015 10:35 am | by NIJ | News | Comments

NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence is hosting a two-day training workshop for forensic...

Demand for DNA Testing Overwhelms DPS Labs

January 26, 2015 10:18 am | by Mollie Bryant, Amarillo Globe News | News | Comments

Texas Department of Public Safety labs are coping with an abundance of evidence testing...

Man Wrongly Convicted 4 Decades Ago Freed from Prison

January 26, 2015 9:50 am | by Jonathan Drew, Associated Press | News | Comments

For the third time in less than six months, a...

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Rape is defined as forcible penetration, whether oral, anal or vaginal using a sexual organ or object without consent of the victim. Sexual assault, on the other hand, refers to any unwanted sexual contact, including fondling and molestation. Semen detect

DNA Forensic Testing and Use of DNA Rape Kits in Cases of Rape and Sexual Assault

January 26, 2015 8:21 am | by Karl M. McDonald | Articles | Comments

Rape is defined as forcible penetration, whether oral, anal or vaginal using a sexual organ or object without consent of the victim. Sexual assault, on the other hand, refers to any unwanted sexual contact, including fondling and molestation. Semen detection tests, confirmatory tests and forensic DNA testing are indispensable tools for solving a cases of rape and assault in order to bring perpetrators to justice.

Seattle police will begin DNA testing on all sexual-assault evidence kits and dig into the backlog of 1,276 stored kits that were never tested, the department has announced.

Seattle Police to Begin DNA Testing on All Stored Rape Kits

January 23, 2015 10:27 am | by Christine Clarridge, The Seattle Times | News | Comments

Seattle police will begin DNA testing on all sexual-assault evidence kits and dig into the backlog of 1,276 stored kits that were never tested, the department has announced.                     

A grant from the National Institute of Justice will help scientists delve deep into the world of mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, used to help solve crime in forensic investigations.

Mitochondrial DNA Research Could Bolster Forensic Investigations

January 22, 2015 11:43 am | by Penn State | News | Comments

A grant from the National Institute of Justice will help scientists delve deep into the world of mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, used to help solve crime in forensic investigations.                     

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The President's DNA Initiative Analyst Training Has Moved

January 21, 2015 8:56 am | National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) | News | Comments

If you’ve been trying to access the online DNA Analyst Training but received an error, it’s not you. The folks at NFSTC.org moved the President’s DNA Initiative.                         

As the Pentagon seeks to recover 27,000 missing American war dead, it may turn away from Hawaii -- where much of that government effort has been centered -- and to private organizations to outsource some research, recovery and identifications.

Private Groups Seek to Take Over MIA Search Duty from Pentagon

January 20, 2015 1:36 pm | by William Cole, Military.com | News | Comments

As the Pentagon seeks to recover 27,000 missing American war dead, it may turn away from Hawaii — where much of that government effort has been centered — and to private organizations to outsource some research, recovery and identifications.

Mexican prosecutors said Tuesday that an Austrian forensics lab has been unable to find any more DNA that could be used by conventional means to identify charred remains that might be those of 42 missing college students, but said they have authorized a f

DNA Tests Can't Identify Possible Mexican Student Remains

January 20, 2015 12:21 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Mexican prosecutors said Tuesday that an Austrian forensics lab has been unable to find any more DNA that could be used by conventional means to identify charred remains that might be those of 42 missing college students, but said they have authorized a final, unconventional effort.

Using DNA collected from convicted sex offenders has been instrumental in solving long-dormant sexual assault and homicide cases. Despite nearly universal laws requiring convicted sex offenders to provide a DNA sample, the rules for how and when those sam

Cold Hit: New Technology Reveals Old Evidence

January 16, 2015 2:31 pm | by Detective Lindsey Wade | Articles | Comments

Using DNA collected from convicted sex offenders has been instrumental in solving long-dormant sexual assault and homicide cases. Despite nearly universal laws requiring convicted sex offenders to provide a DNA sample, the rules for how and when those samples are collected could be a significant roadblock for cold case detectives around the country.

No DNA or blood evidence has been found to connect a man on trial for murder to the 2012 death of his estranged wife.

Jury Hears DNA, Blood Evidence in Murder Trial

January 16, 2015 12:32 pm | by Lisa Trigg, Tribune Star | News | Comments

No DNA or blood evidence has been found to connect a man on trial for murder to the 2012 death of his estranged wife.                                     

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A pair of senators is looking to pass legislation that would require the collection of DNA samples from people convicted of misdemeanor crimes that carry prison terms, after the Vermont Supreme Court found a previous law unconstitutional.

Bill Would Require DNA Sampling in Misdemeanors

January 16, 2015 10:23 am | by Neal P. Goswami, Rutland Herald | News | Comments

A pair of senators is looking to pass legislation that would require the collection of DNA samples from people convicted of misdemeanor crimes that carry prison terms, after the Vermont Supreme Court found a previous law unconstitutional.   

The City of Columbia Police Department went public with a picture of a “person-of-interest” that was created by cutting edge technology called Forensic DNA Phenotyping that can predict genetic ancestry, eye, hair and skin color, freckling, and facial shap

First DNA-Phenotyped Image of 'Person of Interest' in Double Homicide

January 15, 2015 2:50 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Articles | Comments

The City of Columbia Police Department went public with a picture of a “person-of-interest” that was created by cutting edge technology called Forensic DNA Phenotyping that can predict genetic ancestry, eye, hair and skin color, freckling, and facial shape in individuals from any ethnic background.

Human crimes are being solved by the emerging science of veterinary forensics, which can help catch and convict murderers and rapists, not to mention poachers and animal abusers.

Dog and Cat DNA Nabs Bad Guys

January 14, 2015 11:32 am | by Vicki Croke, WBUR's The Wildlife | News | Comments

Human crimes are being solved by the emerging science of veterinary forensics, which can help catch and convict murderers and rapists, not to mention poachers and animal abusers.                     

Forensic DNA mixtures are frequently encountered in analysis, but there are a   limited number of tools to assist in analyzing and interpreting these samples.   Multiple-person crimes, contamination with pre-crime DNA, and “touch DNA” can all   contribute

De-convolution of Body Fluid Mixtures

January 14, 2015 8:45 am | by Jack Ballantyne, NIJ | News | Comments

Forensic DNA mixtures are frequently encountered in analysis, but there are a limited number of tools to assist in analyzing and interpreting these samples. Multiple-person crimes, contamination with pre-crime DNA, and “touch DNA” can all contribute to an admixed sample.

Forensic investigators from the FBI are spending the first part of this week digging up specific locations on a rural Virginia mountain, the latest sign of progress in the nearly 40-year-old investigation of two young girls who disappeared after walking t

In Lyon Sisters Case, More Forensic Digging Takes Place

January 13, 2015 2:20 pm | by Dan Morse, The Washington Post | News | Comments

Forensic investigators from the FBI are spending the first part of this week digging up specific locations on a rural Virginia mountain, the latest sign of progress in the nearly 40-year-old investigation of two young girls who disappeared after walking to a Montgomery County shopping mall in 1975.

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Some major changes in DNA technology and analysis have recently come on to the forensic scene, but with little fanfare to accompany those changes, busy practitioners could be forgiven for not having noticed them.

DNA and Case Preparation

January 13, 2015 1:42 pm | by David Bentley QC, The Law Society Gazette | News | Comments

Some major changes in DNA technology and analysis have recently come on to the forensic scene, but with little fanfare to accompany those changes, busy practitioners could be forgiven for not having noticed them.           

Penn State’s Forensic Science program is a partner on a new National Institute of Justice grant that will test DNA investigative tools that utilize next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology.

New Grant Tests Next-generation DNA Sequencing Tools for Crime Laboratories

January 12, 2015 8:22 am | by Pennsylvania State University | News | Comments

Penn State’s Forensic Science program is a partner on a new National Institute of Justice grant that will test DNA investigative tools that utilize next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology.                 

The DNA Advocacy Project will investigate and evaluate potential cases of wrongful conviction in Arizona where DNA testing might show actual innocence, and bring appropriate cases forward for DNA testing. This unique partnership will for the first time pr

Arizona DNA Advocacy Project Receives Almost $1M Grant From DOJ

January 9, 2015 10:07 am | by ASU Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law | News | Comments

The DNA Advocacy Project will investigate and evaluate potential cases of wrongful conviction in Arizona where DNA testing might show actual innocence, and bring appropriate cases forward for DNA testing. This unique partnership will for the first time provide coverage of the vast majority of Arizona.

Jason Williford was in Nash Correctional Institution serving a life sentence for the murder and rape of former North Carolina school board member Kathy Taft on Tuesday, when debate was revived about the collection of DNA evidence used at his trial.

NC Court of Appeals Upholds Use of Cigarette Butt Evidence

January 9, 2015 8:43 am | by Anne Blythe, Charlotte Observer | News | Comments

Jason Williford was in Nash Correctional Institution serving a life sentence for the murder and rape of former North Carolina school board member Kathy Taft on Tuesday, when debate was revived about the collection of DNA evidence used at his trial.

Advancements in DNA sequencing software can provide law enforcement with even faster results during criminal investigations, and help to decrease bottlenecks in rape kit data analysis, says one Pennsylvania-based company.

DNA Sequencing Software Speeds Up Analysis Time

January 8, 2015 10:28 am | by Sean Allocca, Editor | SoftGenetics, LLC | News | Comments

Advancements in DNA sequencing software can provide law enforcement with even faster results during criminal investigations, and help to decrease bottlenecks in rape kit data analysis, says one Pennsylvania-based company.         

A Brooklyn judge has stirred up controversy by tossing out two types of DNA evidence regularly used in criminal cases throughout the city, the Daily News has learned.

Judge Tosses Out Two Types of DNA Evidence in Criminal Cases

January 7, 2015 10:59 am | by Shayna Jacobs, NY Daily News | News | Comments

A Brooklyn judge has stirred up controversy by tossing out two types of DNA evidence regularly used in criminal cases throughout the city, the Daily News has learned.                                      

2014 was a banner year for DNA cases. In the wake of Maryland v. King — the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case upholding warrantless, suspicionless DNA collection from arrestees under Maryland state law — the constitutionality of DNA collection in the criminal

Looking Toward 2015 DNA Collection Laws

January 6, 2015 1:54 pm | by Jennifer Lynch, EFF | News | Comments

2014 was a banner year for DNA cases. In the wake of Maryland v. King — the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case upholding warrantless, suspicionless DNA collection from arrestees under Maryland state law — the constitutionality of DNA collection in the criminal context has continued to present challenging issues for courts.

Australian forensic experts helped identify four more victims of AirAsia flight QZ8501 as Indonesian divers located more parts of the crashed passenger jet in the Java Sea.

Australian Forensic Experts Help Identify AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Victims

January 6, 2015 1:29 pm | by ABC News | News | Comments

Australian forensic experts helped identify four more victims of AirAsia flight QZ8501 as Indonesian divers located more parts of the crashed passenger jet in the Java Sea.                      

Forensic testing by the Illinois State Police of evidence in post-conviction cases is hampered by outdated procedures at state laboratories, charges an expert working with the defense in the 1991 Donald Whalen murder case.

Whalen Expert Critical of State DNA Testing

January 5, 2015 10:30 am | by Edith Brady-Lunny, Pantagraph.com | News | Comments

Forensic testing by the Illinois State Police of evidence in post-conviction cases is hampered by outdated procedures at state laboratories, charges an expert working with the defense in the 1991 Donald Whalen murder case.       

30 Bodies Recovered Amid Search for AirAsia Plane

January 2, 2015 1:05 pm | by Tom McCawley, The New York Times | News | Comments

Rescue officials said on Friday that they had recovered 30 bodies and identified three by the end of the sixth day of search operations for the missing Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501, but that stormy seas had prevented them from deploying sophisticated sonar equipment.

New Hampshire Cold Case Unit Solves Decades-old Murder

December 30, 2014 1:02 pm | by Diane Lederman, Mass Live | News | Comments

In July 1987, Amherst resident Judith Whitney went to New Hampshire with a man named Edward Mayrand, whom she met at an Alcoholic's Anonymous meeting the month before. She was never seen again.                

The odds aren’t good that burglary victims in Austin will see their belongings again.

Shortage of Lab Techs Hampering Austin Burglary Investigations

December 29, 2014 11:23 am | by Wes Martin, Statesman | News | Comments

The odds aren’t good that burglary victims in Austin will see their belongings again.                                               

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