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!
Coley, 70, spent the past 38 years in prison for a double murder he didn’t commit, but this year he was able to eat Thanksgiving dinner with the retired detective who spent nearly three decades attempting to prove his innocence.
That’s a big problem for victims of sexual violence who may need years or even decades to fully process trauma and understand what happened to them, said Rebecca O’Connor, who directs public policy for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, also known as RAINN, which tracks sexual offense statutes of limitation by state.
Experts from around the world, representing both practitioners of nuclear analytical techniques as well as forensic science stakeholder communities, met in Vienna last week to discuss the objectives of a new Coordinated Research Project on utilizing nuclear analytical techniques in forensic science. The project aims to determine how existing forensic methods can be complemented by the use of nuclear techniques to aid the work of police investigators, courts and customs officials.
My current role is Visiting Assistant Professor and Director of the Forensic Studies & Justice Program at University of South Florida St. Petersburg. The Program teaches forensic investigative techniques and scientific applications in criminal cases, using structured analytic techniques borrowed from the intelligence community to mitigate and reduce bias, and how to improve the criminal justice system and avoid wrongful convictions. I created the Program, teach in it, and conduct research in these areas.
The advanced detection technique, which allows investigators to take prints from problematic exhibits, such as spent ammunition casings, was carried out in partnership with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) – an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence.
But now legal experts, along with Johnson’s advocates, are joining forces to argue to a California court that TrueAllele—the seemingly magic software that helped law enforcement analyze the evidence that tied Johnson to the crimes—should be forced to reveal the code that sent Johnson to prison. This code, they say, is necessary in order to properly evaluate the technology. In fact, they say, justice from an unknown algorithm is no justice at all.