Apr 21 2017

This Week in Forensic Science


No one has hours to scour the papers to keep up with the latest news, so we’ve curated the top news stories in the field of Forensic Science for this week. Here’s what you need to know to get out the door!


This week in forensic science header

Cutting-Edge DNA Science Solves San Diego Cold Case Murder, 25 Years Later (NBC7 – 4/14/2017)

  • The rape and brutal murder of an elderly woman found stabbed to death in her home in San Diego, California, 25 years ago has finally been solved, thanks to cutting-edge DNA testing.


The War Over Forensic Science Started Well Before Jeff Sessions (Wired – 4/14/2017)

  • Forensic Science—The techniques law enforcement applies to cases, CSI-style—desperately needs an overhaul.


New Technology Could Help Authorities Identify Suspects Without DNA (ABC 15 – 4/14/2017)


Senate Sends Bill on DNA Collection to Holcomb’s Desk (The Herald – 4/14/2017)

  • Indiana senators voted Thursday to allow DNA swabs to be taken upon a person’s felony arrest rather than conviction, sending the measure to Gov. Eric Holcomb after opponents argued during the floor debate that the change is unconstitutional.


How Safe is Your DNA? (Forty Eight Hours – 4/15/2017)

  • A new high-tech, controversial law enforcement procedure has some people worried it threatens the privacy of our DNA


Military Personnel Committing Serious Offenses Could Soon Have to Give DNA to Police (Stuff – 4/16/2017)

  • Moves are being made to allow police to take DNA samples from military personnel convicted under a court martial system.


Jack Knox: Ashes of  ‘Good Son’ Go Home, Solving an 18-Year Identity Riddle (Times Colonist – 4/16/2017)

  • It’s a tale of forensic science and human compassion combining to bring the remains of a long-lost son to his mother, half a continent away.


DNA Leads to Arrest in Murder of Jogger in Massachusetts (USA Today – 4/16/2017)

  • DNA evidence and an attentive state trooper helped find the man authorities believe killed a New York City woman last summer who was out jogging near her mother’s Massachusetts home, authorities said Saturday.


State Police Crime Lab Eyes Familial DNA Searching, A Controversial Crime-Solving Tool (The New Orleans Advocate – 4/16/2017)

  • The Louisiana State Police Crime Lab is preparing to expand its criminal DNA testing to include a controversial technique known as familial searching, a tool that could breathe new life into aging cold cases by identifying close relatives of suspects.


Mariska Hargitay Brings Awareness to Untested Rape Kits in I Am Evidence Documentary (Self – 4/17/2017)

  • On Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Mariska Hargitay (as Lieutenant Olivia Benson) has worked tirelessly to get justice for the hundreds of sexual assault and rape survivors who have entered Manhattan’s Special Victims Unit. In real life, Hargitay fights for survivors, too, by bringing attention to the hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits in police evidence rooms across the country.


Now Who Will Push Ahead on Validating Forensic Science Disciplines? (The Conversation – 4/18/2017)

  • Science and the law are not natural partners. Science seeks to advance our understanding of the natural world. The law is tasked with ensuring public safety and making sure justice is properly served. Over time, science became another tool available to the legal system to pursue those goals.


New Maryland Law No Longer Requires Rape Victims to Prove Physical Resistance (Forensic Magazine – 4/19/2017)

  • This is the type of forensic analysis Chinnici performs in her laboratory—the Northeast Wildlife DNA Laboratory at East Stroudsburg University (Pennsylvania)—under the tutelage of Distinguished Professor of Biology Dr. Jane Huffman. Wildlife forensics applies scientifically analyzed evidence to public discourses on legal issues involving wild animals.