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The Lead

A Few Reactions to the DOJ's 'Scathing' Report on Ferguson Cops And Racial Bias

March 4, 2015 12:58 pm | by Rigoberto Hernandez, NPR | News | Comments

The Justice Department reportedly did not find enough evidence to charge white officer Darren Wilson with any civil rights violations for shooting Michael Brown last August. But they did find plenty of evidence of routine discrimination by Ferguson police against black residents.

Cal Harris Jury to Hear From Forensic Expert on Blood

March 4, 2015 12:22 pm | News | Comments

Cal Harris jurors are expected to hear today from the prosecution's key expert witness on blood...

The Law Has Failed, Not Forensic Science

March 2, 2015 12:34 pm | by John Collins, Science 2.0 | News | Comments

In 2012, Dr. Jon Gould at American University published what is perhaps the most comprehensive...

Using Faulty Forensic Science, Courts Fail the Innocent

February 26, 2015 9:57 am | by Karen Kafadar and Anne-Marie Mazza, Inside Science | News | Comments

Forensic scientists have been an integral part of the judicial process for more than a century....

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A Michigan court decision recently rejected the appeal of Joseph Blackmer, the man charged with the 1981 rape of a 23-year-old married woman, four months pregnant. The case demonstrates how useful DNA technology can be in solving sexual assault cases, eve

The Saga of Rapist Joseph Blackmer's DNA

February 25, 2015 10:42 am | by Laura Berman, The Detroit News | News | Comments

A Michigan court decision recently rejected the appeal of Joseph Blackmer, the man charged with the 1981 rape of a 23-year-old married woman, four months pregnant. The case demonstrates how useful DNA technology can be in solving sexual assault cases, even years after the fact, as Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy readies her department to analyze DNA results from more than 8,000 cases now being tested in private and state labs.

Brain imaging can already pull bits of information from the minds of willing volunteers in laboratories. What happens when police or lawyers want to use it to pry a key fact from the mind of an unwilling person?

Will You Need a Search Warrant for Someone's Brain?

February 25, 2015 10:26 am | by Carrie Peyton Dahlberg, Inside Science | News | Comments

Brain imaging can already pull bits of information from the minds of willing volunteers in laboratories. What happens when police or lawyers want to use it to pry a key fact from the mind of an unwilling person?

A Texas jury has rejected the insanity defense of a former Marine in the deaths of famed "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and another man.

Ex-Marine Convicted in 'Sniper' Trial Faces Life in Prison

February 25, 2015 10:07 am | by Jamie Stengle, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Texas jury has rejected the insanity defense of a former Marine in the deaths of famed "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and another man.

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The U.S. State Department and FBI on Tuesday announced a $3 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Russian national Evgeniy Bogachev, the highest bounty U.S. authorities have ever offered in a cyber case.

US Offers Highest-Ever Reward for Russian Hacker

February 25, 2015 8:51 am | by Mark Hosenball, Reuters | News | Comments

The U.S. State Department and FBI have announced a $3 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Russian national Evgeniy Bogachev, the highest bounty U.S. authorities have ever offered in a cyber case.

A human sheds as much as 100 pounds of DNA-containing material in a lifetime and about 30,000 skin cells an hour. But who owns that DNA is the latest modern-day privacy issue before the US Supreme Court.

DNA is everywhere. Can police analyze it?

February 24, 2015 1:10 pm | by David Kravets, Ars Technica | News | Comments

A human sheds as much as 100 pounds of DNA-containing material in a lifetime and about 30,000 skin cells an hour. But who owns that DNA is the latest modern-day privacy issue before the US Supreme Court.

An academic is asking a New Mexico court to order a death certificate for Billy the Kid to settle questions about whether the infamous outlaw was actually killed in 1881.

Death Certificate Sought for Outlaw Billy the Kid

February 23, 2015 11:04 am | News | Comments

An academic is asking a New Mexico court to order a death certificate for Billy the Kid to settle questions about whether the infamous outlaw was actually killed in 1881.

A bloody comforter found on the bed of a Utah doctor's ex-wife shows she was   attacked and her death was staged to look like a suicide, a blood spatter expert   testified. Rod Englert unfurled the brightly colored green-and-blue comforter during   the se

Expert: Blood Spatter Indicates Struggle

February 20, 2015 12:13 pm | by Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press | News | Comments

A bloody comforter found on the bed of a Utah doctor's ex-wife shows she was attacked and her death was staged to look like a suicide, a blood spatter expert testified. Rod Englert unfurled the brightly colored green-and-blue comforter during the second day of the trial against Salt Lake City pediatrician John Brickman Wall, who is accused of killing the cancer researcher amid a bitter custody dispute.

A private lab in Texas will perform DNA tests on old biological material from a 1980s Minneapolis serial killer case, a Hennepin County judge has ruled.

Texas Lab Will Test DNA in Minneapolis Serial Murder Case

February 20, 2015 11:57 am | by Pam Louwagie, Star Tribune | News | Comments

A private lab in Texas will perform DNA tests on old biological material from a 1980s Minneapolis serial killer case, a Hennepin County judge has ruled.

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The co-creator of sophisticated BlackShades malware pleaded guilty to a criminal charge after authorities said his product infected over a half-million computers in more than 100 countries.

BlackShades Owner Pleads Guilty in US in Malware Case

February 19, 2015 12:53 pm | by Larry Neumeister, Associated Press | News | Comments

The co-creator of sophisticated BlackShades malware pleaded guilty to a criminal charge after authorities said his product infected over a half-million computers in more than 100 countries.

A top New York state judge will allow the use of new computer-assisted DNA technology in the murder trial of a career criminal accused of strangling a 41-year-old mentally ill man during a robbery nearly five years ago.

New DNA Tool OK in Trial

February 19, 2015 11:34 am | by Robert Gavin, Times Union | Cybergenetics | News | Comments

A top New York state judge will allow the use of new computer-assisted DNA technology in the murder trial of a career criminal accused of strangling a 41-year-old mentally ill man during a robbery nearly five years ago.

Felony drug charges have been dropped against a Mankato, Minnesota man who spent months in jail before crime lab tests determined the suspected drugs were actually vitamins.

Field-Tested Drugs Were Vitamins

February 19, 2015 11:25 am | by myfoxphilly.com | News | Comments

Felony drug charges have been dropped against a Mankato, Minnesota man who spent months in jail before crime lab tests determined the suspected drugs were actually vitamins.

More than two years after his arrest, Russian national Vladimir Drinkman, 34, who's been charged with masterminding the biggest hack attack in U.S. history, has finally been extradicted to the United States.

Alleged Russian Mega-Hacker Extradited

February 18, 2015 2:33 pm | by Mathew J. Schwartz, Gov Info Security | News | Comments

More than two years after his arrest, Russian national Vladimir Drinkman, 34, who's been charged with masterminding the biggest hack attack in U.S. history, has finally been extradicted to the United States.

After listening to colleagues for years and exploring it further, Jonathan Grier saw how pressing the need was for technology like his. Although the NIJ was the organization that bridged the gap between idea and practical application for his technology, i

The Possible Put Into Digital Forensic Practice With Grier Technology

February 18, 2015 12:44 pm | by Ernie Austin, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

After listening to colleagues for years and exploring it further, Jonathan Grier saw how pressing the need was for technology like his. Although the NIJ was the organization that bridged the gap between idea and practical application for his technology, it was another agency that saw its possibility.

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While defense attorneys mount an insanity defense for the former Marine on trial in the shooting deaths of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield, prosecutors have described Eddie Ray Routh as a troubled drug user who knew rig

'American Sniper' Murder Trial Centers on Competency

February 17, 2015 1:11 pm | by Jamie Stengle and Emily Schmall, Associated Press | News | Comments

While defense attorneys mount an insanity defense for the former Marine on trial in the shooting deaths of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield, prosecutors have described Eddie Ray Routh as a troubled drug user who knew right from wrong. Criminal law experts say the case hinges on whether the defense can prove Routh did not know that the killings constituted a crime.

Authorities found marijuana, a nearly empty bottle of whiskey and anti-psychotic   medication while searching the home of the former Marine charged with killing   "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and his friend, a Texas Ranger testified   recently.

Medication Found in Home of Suspect in 'American Sniper' Trial

February 13, 2015 3:13 pm | by Jamie Stengle, Associated Press | News | Comments

Authorities found marijuana, a nearly empty bottle of whiskey and anti-psychotic medication while searching the home of the former Marine charged with killing "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and his friend, a Texas Ranger testified recently.

Emoji are the language of our online era. They convey things mere words often cannot. We send emoji to improve upon, even expand, our words and bring emotion—affection, frustration, love, anger—to the conversation. Now, like the tweets, posts, and texts t

Emojis Used in Court

February 13, 2015 10:51 am | by Julia Greenberg, Wired | News | Comments

Emoji are the language of our online era. They convey things mere words often cannot. We send emoji to improve upon, even expand, our words and bring emotion—affection, frustration, love, anger—to the conversation. Now, like the tweets, posts, and texts that are a crucial part of the way we communicate today, emoji are, finally, getting their due in court.

It’s generally commonly accepted that if a person is convicted of a serious crime such as murder or rape, their DNA will be collected and saved in a searchable database for future use.

More States Sending DNA Samples to CODIS for Misdemeanor Charges

February 11, 2015 1:35 pm | by Malysa Stratton Louk, Digital Journal | News | Comments

It’s generally commonly accepted that if a person is convicted of a serious crime such as murder or rape, their DNA will be collected and saved in a searchable database for future use.

Michael Morton, who spent nearly 25 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit, said recently that under current DNA testing requirements, he wouldn’t have had access to the evidence that led to his release.

Bill Would Expand DNA Testing for Criminal Cases

February 10, 2015 1:03 pm | by Ryan McCrimmon, The Texas Tribune | News | Comments

Michael Morton, who spent nearly 25 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit, said recently that under current DNA testing requirements, he wouldn’t have had access to the evidence that led to his release.           

The suspected mastermind behind the underground website Silk Road was convicted on   narcotics and other charges on Wednesday for his role in orchestrating a scheme that   enabled around $200 million of anonymous online drug sales using bitcoins.

Jury Unanimously Convicts Accused Silk Road Operator on All Counts

February 5, 2015 12:47 pm | by Nate Raymond, Reuters | News | Comments

The suspected mastermind behind the underground website Silk Road was convicted on narcotics and other charges on Wednesday for his role in orchestrating a scheme that enabled around $200 million of anonymous online drug sales using bitcoins.  

 The first expert witness for the defense in the trial of Lake Tahoe resident Tatiana Leibel for murder said he could not come to a conclusion about what happened on Feb. 23, 2014, in the shooting death of Leibel’s husband, Harry.

Expert Witness Challenges Crime Scene Processing

February 4, 2015 2:14 pm | by Sarah Hauck, The Record-Courier | News | Comments

The first expert witness for the defense in the trial of Lake Tahoe, California resident Tatiana Leibel for murder said he could not come to a conclusion about what happened on February 23, 2014, in the shooting death of Leibel’s husband, Harry.

Ross Ulbricht received a fair trial. The investigation, and the quality of Joshua Dratel, Ulbricht’s well compensated and well regarded lawyer, on the other hand…

Ross Ulbricht Got a Fair Trial (but Not a Fair Investigation)

February 4, 2015 11:46 am | by Nicholas Weaver | Blogs | Comments

Ross Ulbricht received a fair trial. The investigation, and the quality of Joshua Dratel, Ulbricht’s well compensated and well regarded lawyer, on the other hand…                         

In closing arguments, a prosecutor urged jurors to follow the "digital fingerprints" of the San Francisco man who created the underground website Silk Road and to convict him of operating a worldwide online drug network.

Silk Road Creator Faces Overwhelming Evidence

February 3, 2015 2:08 pm | by Larry Neumeister, Associated Press | News | Comments

In closing arguments, a prosecutor urged jurors to follow the "digital fingerprints" of the San Francisco man who created the underground website Silk Road and to convict him of operating a worldwide online drug network.         

Thirty-five years after the disappearance of a 6-year-old boy in Manhattan ushered in an era of protectiveness for America's children, a trial has begun for a mentally ill man with a low IQ who confessed to his murder and kidnapping.

Murder Trial Begins 35 Years after Milk-box Kid Disappeared

February 2, 2015 2:27 pm | by Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press | News | Comments

Thirty-five years after the disappearance of a 6-year-old boy in Manhattan ushered in an era of protectiveness for America's children, a trial has begun for a mentally ill man with a low IQ who confessed to his murder and kidnapping.     

The sole federal judge on a commission appointed by President Obama to improve forensic science in the criminal justice system has resigned in protest, criticizing the U.S. Department of Justice for muzzling its work to benefit prosecutors.

US Judge Quits Commission to Protest DoJ Forensic Science Policy

January 30, 2015 11:37 am | by Spencer S. Hsu, The Washington Post | News | Comments

The sole federal judge on a commission appointed by President Obama to improve forensic science in the criminal justice system has resigned in protest, criticizing the U.S. Department of Justice for muzzling its work to benefit prosecutors. U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff said he quit because the Justice Department barred it from recommending expansion of the exchange of pretrial information to include more evidence from forensic experts.

 During her TEDxVictoria talk, Social psychologist Elizabeth Brimacombe explains how social influence can change eyewitness testimony - and how it can affect anyone.

Social Influence of Eyewitness Testimony

January 30, 2015 8:17 am | by Ernie Austin, Associate Editor | Videos | Comments

During her TEDxVictoria talk, Social psychologist Elizabeth Brimacombe explains how social influence can change eyewitness testimony — and how it can affect anyone.                         

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