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Forensic Science

Don't Believe the Bite

Jessica S. Henry | Posted 05.11.2016 | Crime
Jessica S. Henry

Originally posted to the Wrongful Convictions Blog on May 10, 2016 Eddie Lee Howard, Jr. has been on Mississippi's death row for nearly two decades,...

DNA Software Claims to Prevent Wrongful Convictions, but Lacks Third-Party Validation

Darlene Dang | Posted 04.07.2016 | Technology
Darlene Dang

The Innocence Project at Cardozo Law School reports 337 post-conviction exonerations in the U.S. since 1989. But damage done to the wrongly convicted ...

The Cell Phone Evidence in Adnan Syed's Case Illustrates a Depressingly Common Problem

Kevin Sali | Posted 02.12.2016 | Crime
Kevin Sali

I guess on balance it's a good thing that we're finally reassessing these types of evidence, but ideally the caution and humility we're now seeing would come a lot earlier in the process -- perhaps even before the expert takes the stand in a serious criminal case.

D.C. Judge Rejects Junk Science But The Law Is Slow To Follow

Stephen A. Cooper | Posted 01.25.2016 | Crime
Stephen A. Cooper

In the century before the Bill of Rights, men and women were sentenced to death on the strength of spectral testimony. Ironically, it was this affron...

Investigating a Career in Forensic Science

Dr. Balwant Chohan | Posted 01.22.2016 | College
Dr. Balwant Chohan

Forensic science is a rigorous and demanding subject. Students who wish to enter this field need to be ready to put the time into academic work and also seek internships that provide practical experience and a competitive edge when entering the job market. Those who do will have the potential for a rewarding career and an exciting opportunity to contribute to society in a direct and meaningful way.

The Latest Controversy Over "Shaken Baby" Forensics Should Surprise No One

Kevin Sali | Posted 09.16.2015 | Crime
Kevin Sali

All of us--whether as jurors, or even just as observers of the court system--should keep ever-vigilant eyes on the quality of the evidence used to convict our fellow citizens of crimes.

The Identification of Josef Mengele

ADST | Posted 07.30.2016 | World

Stephen F. Dachi was a consular officer who was born in Hungary in 1933. His parents both died when he was three years old, leaving him in the care of his grandparents, who lived in Romania.

The "Baby Doe" Investigation Showcases Forensic Science at Its Purest

Kevin Sali | Posted 07.13.2016 | Crime
Kevin Sali

The story of "Baby Doe"--the little girl whose body was found along a Boston shoreline in June--has captured the nation's attention. So far, we know virtually nothing about what happened. We don't know who she was, what happened to her, or who was responsible.

Policymakers Must Help Unleash The Potential of DNA Forensics

Steven Blumenfeld | Posted 06.09.2016 | Politics
Steven Blumenfeld

While some policymakers may be tempted to treat DNA forensic capabilities as a panacea for criminal investigations, the evolution of DNA forensics may also represent a Pandora's box of ethical, privacy, legal and financial concerns that require deep consideration.

On the Trail of the Somerton Man

Derek Abbott | Posted 06.05.2016 | Science
Derek Abbott

Was he poisoned or did he die accidentally? Why were the labels removed from his clothes? Was he a secret agent or a jilted lover? Intriguingly, a slip of paper was found in one of his pockets with the printed words "Tamám Shud," meaning "ended" or "finished" in Persian.

An "Elite" Forensic Unit Falls From Grace

Kevin Sali | Posted 05.28.2016 | Crime
Kevin Sali

With the spate of recent high-profile events in which officers' accounts have been shown to be demonstrably at odds with other reliable evidence, citizens may be starting to reconsider the wisdom of reflexively deferring to the police. Could the same trend develop with forensic analysts?

This Is What Happens After You Die

By Moheb Costandi | Mosaic | Posted 05.21.2015 | Science

(Photo: © Lightning + Kinglyface and Jess Bonham) Most of us would rather not think about what happens to our bodies after death. But that bre...

How Junk Science Sent Claude Garrett to Prison For Life

The Intercept | Posted 02.24.2015 | Crime

JUST BEFORE DAWN, on the unseasonably warm morning of February 24, 1992, a small house caught fire in Old Hickory, Tennessee, a few miles northeast of...

Forensic Science Is Not CSI, in Ferguson or Anywhere Else

William Lynch III | Posted 02.18.2015 | Crime
William Lynch III

None of this is to say that we need to toss all the evidence out and start at square one. Nor am I saying that the evidence supporting Wilson's account is totally false. My point is that everyone must realize that forensic science is not absolute like on television.

What These STEM College Women Are Doing This Summer

Diane Propsner | Posted 09.15.2014 | College
Diane Propsner

Having graduated from a women's college with a degree in biology, I thought it would be fun to see what my fellow STEM sisters are doing this summer.

Testimony Through the Graves of Guatemala

Stephen D. Smith | Posted 08.03.2014 | World
Stephen D. Smith

Photos by: Ryan Suffern On June 2, 1982, armed members of the Guatemalan military walked into the village of Pambach. They separated men from the wom...

Scientists Find Way To Create 'Mugshot' From Perp's DNA

natureheader | Sara Reardon | Posted 03.21.2014 | Science

Leaving a hair at a crime scene could one day be as damning as leaving a photograph of your face. Researchers have developed a computer program that c...

What To Do If You're Terrified Of Public Speaking (Like Me)

Morgan Levy | Posted 05.04.2014 | Teen
Morgan Levy

If walking into high school somebody told me that I would willingly join a competitive public speaking team, loving it so much that I would eventually become President, I would reply that the chances of that happening are lower than those of Miley Cyrus becoming President.

WATCH: Crime Victims' Eyes May Hold Key To Pinpointing Perps

The Huffington Post | Macrina Cooper-White | Posted 01.23.2014 | Science

Scientists in the U.K. are eyeing a remarkable new crime-fighting tool -- one that makes it possible to finger the bad guys simply by examining the re...

We Are Naturally Bad Sleuths.. And Frequently Fail To Find The Truth

Mark Godsey | Posted 10.25.2013 | TED Weekends
Mark Godsey

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgHow could 10 witnesses have all said they were certain a defendant was the perpetrator of the crime, when DNA testing later proved that he was innocent?

DNA Evidence Not Very Helpful In THIS Rape Case

The Huffington Post | Macrina Cooper-White | Posted 08.23.2013 | Science

DNA evidence normally points to one suspect in a crime -- but what happens when two people share that same DNA? That's the case with identical twin...

Can Social Media Predict Behavior?

Jane Adams Ph.D. | Posted 09.14.2013 | Media
Jane Adams Ph.D.

Social media has gotten the credit -- and, in some quarters, the blame -- for inspiring social and political revolutions around the globe.

How Can Scientists Solve Case With 50-Year-Old DNA?

LiveScience | Rachael Rettner | Posted 07.12.2013 | Science

The news that 50-year-old DNA provided a break in the Boston Strangler murder case may have you wondering: just how long does DNA last? Yesterday, in...

Forensic Confirmation Bias: When the Evidence Doesn't Speak for Itself

Jeff Kukucka | Posted 06.29.2013 | Science
Jeff Kukucka

Latent fingerprint analysis is one of the more well-established domains of forensic science, yet these human examiners are vulnerable to the same confirmation biases that plague us all. It logically follows that other, less 'scientific' domains of forensic science that involve visual comparisons could be similarly hampered.

Mathematics in Forensic Science

Leila Schneps | Posted 05.25.2013 | Science
Leila Schneps

Where once a Sherlock Holmes would have had to be content with a magnifying glass, or a jury with gut instinct and rational discussion, now a range of methods from probability and statistics are available to help.