Tag Archives: forensic

Evolving forensic science prompts new look at old convictions | tbo …

On the morning of Oct. 8, 1988, Lloyd Martzs ex-wife found him slumped in the corner of his bedroom. The 49-year-old car leasing agent had been stabbed and beaten with a fire poker.

During his autopsy, a medical examiner noticed bite marks on his shoulders. Inside his Mercedes convertible, investigators found strands of brown hair.

Forensic experts concluded that the hairs and the bite marks belonged to Michael Annen, a 24-year-old Publix clerk. Martz had picked him up the night before his murder, when Annen was hitchhiking.

Prosecutors made Annen a deal: Plead guilty and avoid the death penalty. In September 1990, Annen accepted the offer and was sentenced to life in prison. After his hearing, he confessed to the murder, police records state.

But next February, Annen, now 51, will be back in court alongside Pinellas-Pasco Public

Read more at: http://www.tbo.com/news/courts/criminal/Evolving-forensic-science-prompts-new-look-at-old-convictions_163265786

Evolving forensic science prompts new look at old convictions

On the morning of Oct. 8, 1988, Lloyd Martzs ex-wife found him slumped in the corner of his bedroom. The 49-year-old car leasing agent had been stabbed and beaten with a fire poker.

During his autopsy, a medical examiner noticed bite marks on his shoulders. Inside his Mercedes convertible, investigators found strands of brown hair.

Forensic experts concluded that the hairs and the bite marks belonged to Michael Annen, a 24-year-old Publix clerk. Martz had picked him up the night before his murder, when Annen was hitchhiking.

Prosecutors made Annen a deal: Plead guilty and avoid the death penalty. In September 1990, Annen accepted the offer and was sentenced to life in prison. After his hearing, he confessed to the murder, police records state.

But next February, Annen, now 51, will be back in court alongside Pinellas-Pasco Public

Read more at: http://www.tbo.com/news/courts/criminal/Evolving-forensic-science-prompts-new-look-at-old-convictions_163265786

What better forensic science can reveal about the JFK assassination …

Clifford Spiegelman, Texas AM University

(THE CONVERSATION) Popular television shows such as the “Law Order,” “CSI” and “NCIS” franchises glorify forensic science as a magical, near-flawless tool for identifying criminals. Not surprisingly, Hollywood’s depiction of forensic science needs a reality makeover.

The “CSI effect” is well-documented. As long ago as 2009, scientists with the National Research Council noted that no forensic method (except for nuclear DNA analysis) can reliably and consistently connect evidence to a specific individual or source. More recently, President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology reported that pattern-matching forensic procedures are unreliable. The Innocence Project has exonerated many hundreds of wrongfully convicted people, and bad forensic science was found to be a contributing factor in about half of the original cases.

These problems are not new. Six years before the National Research Council’s 2009 report, I was on a panel of the

Read more at: http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/What-better-forensic-science-can-reveal-about-the-12412422.php

What better forensic science can reveal about the JFK assassination

Clifford Spiegelman, Texas AM University

(THE CONVERSATION) Popular television shows such as the “Law Order,” “CSI” and “NCIS” franchises glorify forensic science as a magical, near-flawless tool for identifying criminals. Not surprisingly, Hollywood’s depiction of forensic science needs a reality makeover.

The “CSI effect” is well-documented. As long ago as 2009, scientists with the National Research Council noted that no forensic method (except for nuclear DNA analysis) can reliably and consistently connect evidence to a specific individual or source. More recently, President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology reported that pattern-matching forensic procedures are unreliable. The Innocence Project has exonerated many hundreds of wrongfully convicted people, and bad forensic science was found to be a contributing factor in about half of the original cases.

These problems are not new. Six years before the National Research Council’s 2009 report, I was on a panel of the

Read more at: http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/What-better-forensic-science-can-reveal-about-the-12412422.php

Ohio Innocence Project Receives Grants to Fund, Expand Forensic Research Project

Ohio Innocence Project Receives Grants to Fund, Expand Forensic Research Project

  
The University of Cincinnati College of Law’s Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) has received two grants that will enhance its important work in the state. Together, the grants total $265,051.

The Department of Justice awarded the OIP $205, 051 for its proposed Forensic Review Project, which will examine 300-400 cases of retired Ohio forensic scientist Michelle Yezzo to determine whether she manufactured bogus or exaggerated test results to obtain convictions. If OIP identifies problematic cases, it will litigate them jointly with the Ohio Public Defenders office in hopes of freeing additional wrongfully-convicted persons.  The grant enables OIP to hire a forensic science review attorney to analyze decades of case work; all work will be supervised by Assistant Clinical Professor Donald Caster, and OIP Director Mark Godsey.

Awarding such a significant grant for reviewing convictions is not standard practice for

Read more at: http://www.uc.edu/news/NR.aspx?id=25750

CSE student interns at Center for Forensic Science Research and Education

​Illegal narcotics, laboratories, court proceedings and sensitive information all sound like the makings of an incredible new crime drama. However, it was a real-life experience for CSE senior Paul Nguyen, chemistry, ’18, while he interned at the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education in Willow Grove, Pa.

“We identified different types of drugs, learned from the bomb squad and even got to attend a Vidocq Society meeting,” said Nguyen, who hails from Collingswood, N.J. The Vidocq Society is a group of law enforcement officers, chemists, former CIA agents and other specialists that meet once a month to try and solve cold cases.

A fan of crime television shows, Nguyen initially hoped to emulate the forensic chemists he would watch on TV. However, he quickly realized his field required a lot more attention to detail and couldn’t simply be wrapped up in just 45 minutes. Luckily, he enjoys the meticulous nature of

Read more at: https://morristowngreen.com/2017/11/08/cse-student-interns-at-center-for-forensic-science-research-and-education/

Watch John Oliver Call Out ‘Bullshit’ Forensic Science

Forensic evidence may appear foolproof on flashy TV crime dramas, but as John Oliver detailed on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, these techniques often breed “bullshit” results in real life. “Prosecutors often complain about a so-called ‘CSI effect,’ where jurors expect to see forensic evidence in every case,” the comedian said. “The problem is: Not all forensic science is as reliable as we’ve become accustomed to believe.”

Numerous studies have called into question the validity of some forensic evidence. A 2016 Presidential Science

Read more at: http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/news/watch-john-oliver-call-out-bullshit-forensic-science-w506524

From Genetic Genealogy to Rapid DNA Analysis and MPS, Explore Real-Word Forensic DNA Applications with the …

MADISON, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The 28th
International Symposium on Human Identification
(ISHI) will feature
presentations from leading professionals in the fields of forensic DNA
analysis, genetic genealogy, forensic anthropology, law enforcement and
more. The largest international conference on DNA analysis for human
identification, ISHI attracts more than 900 DNA analysts and forensic
scientists and features 50-plus experts presenting their latest research
and case work. It provides participants an opportunity to explore and
discuss the latest trends, technologies and ethical issues in the field.

ISHI’s 2017 presenters will cover

Read more at: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170829005682/en/Genetic-Genealogy-Rapid-DNA-Analysis-MPS-Explore