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Forensic Science

Predicting Sexual Crime: Are the Experts Biased?

Wray Herbert | Posted 04.24.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

Twenty states now have Sexual Violent Predator laws, which allow civil commitment of offenders who are considered likely to continue as sexual predators. But how reliable are the forensic mental health experts making the judgments of risk?

Identical Twins' DNA Evidence: Who Committed Rapes?

The Huffington Post | Ron Dicker | Posted 02.11.2013 | World

A series of rapes in Marseille, France, has generated a rare forensic puzzle: DNA evidence nabbed identical twins as suspects, LaProvence originally r...

New Gene Method Reveals Looks Of Long-Dead

Posted 01.15.2013 | Science

By: Charles Choi, LiveScience Contributor Published: 01/14/2013 03:58 PM EST on LiveScience The color of the eyes and hair of ancestors dead for h...

A Massive Mess of Forensics

Radley Balko | Posted 02.25.2013 | Politics
Radley Balko

How is it that our courts have for decades now allowed the use of bad science to put citizens in prison -- or even to send them to their deaths? Why is it that junk science can so easily slip into the courtroom during a criminal trial?

Ancient Pharaoh Mummy Mystery Solved

The Huffington Post | Meredith Bennett-Smith | Posted 12.18.2012 | Science

In a murder mystery fit for prime time, scientists say they have solved the 3,000-year-old killing of one of Egypt's last great pharaohs. The first...

Mississippi Man Convicted With Dubious Testimony Moves Closer To Execution

Radley Balko | Posted 01.29.2013 | Politics
Radley Balko

It shouldn't be up for debate that the experts who are allowed to testify in Shaken Baby Syndrome cases must be qualified, accredited and meet a minimum set of standards with respect to their practices, methods and professionalism.

College Plans To Open 'Body Farm' In Colorado

Posted 01.19.2013 | Denver

An outdoor forensic laboratory meant to provide a real-world study of human decomposition for Colorado Mesa University students is being built near Gr...

Science, Standards and Forensics: Part III

Brandon L. Garrett | Posted 11.10.2012 | Crime
Brandon L. Garrett

Our entire system of forensics needs to be shored up -- and Congress may finally be responding to the crisis.

Forensics on the Hill: Part I

Brandon L. Garrett | Posted 09.05.2012 | Crime
Brandon L. Garrett

Why didn't anyone tell Gates over a decade before that the hair analysis in his case was all wrong? In fact, the hair testimony was scientifically unsound. There is no research on how common microscopic hair characteristics are. Hair is not like DNA or even a fingerprint.

Why More Women Are Trying To Be Like 'Bones'

The Washington Post | Posted 08.07.2012 | Women

In the middle of a July heat wave, a circle of students knelt around a hole in the ground in a partly shaded grove at George Mason University, digging...

The Reputation Assassination of Ryan Braun

Linda Kenney Baden | Posted 05.06.2012 | Sports
Linda Kenney Baden

There is not one legitimate shred of valid forensic evidence to prove Braun is guilty -- yet he stands accused by both baseball and public opinion with an axe over his head.

Vultures Pick Away At Human Corpse For Science

The Huffington Post | Rebecca Searles | Posted 01.30.2012 | Science

Somewhere in Texas, people are videotaping vultures ravaging a human body. Twisted horror flick? No. Just another day in forensic science. In a pil...

BTK Trial Crime Quiz: Got What It Takes To Be A Detective?

Posted 01.09.2012 | Crime

Serial killer Dennis Rader, known as the BTK Killer, killed 10 people between 1974 and 1991, terrorizing residents of Wichita, Kan. During his killing...

OJ Simpson Trial Quiz: "If [Blank] Doesn't Fit, You Must Acquit..."

Posted 01.10.2012 | Crime

In his glory days, O.J. Simpson was a record-setting superstar, the first NFL player ever to rush 2000 yards in a season. But on June 17, 1994, the...

Casey Anthony Trial Crime Quiz: Got What It Takes To Be A Detective?

Posted 01.09.2012 | Crime

In one of the most closely-watched trials in years, a jury found Casey Anthony not guilty in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. The saga beg...

Amanda Knox Trial Crime Quiz: Test Your Detective Skills

Steven Hoffer | Posted 01.09.2012 | Crime

Amanda Knox was a 20-year-old college student from Seattle studying abroad in Italy when she was accused and convicted of killing her roommate Meredit...

Public Records Helped Free Texas Man

Kenneth F. Bunting | Posted 12.06.2011 | Crime
Kenneth F. Bunting

If you care about good government and justice, now would be a good time to ask if the records that helped to free Michael Morton would be readily available under your state's public disclosure laws.

The 'Re-composer' of the Decomposed

Diane Dimond | Posted 10.15.2011 | Crime
Diane Dimond

A man died recently that I want you to know about. In his own very unique way he developed an expertise that helped bring justice to those who would otherwise never get it. His name was Frank Bender and he was the best known of a rare breed of forensic sculptors.

Radley Balko

A Fraudulent Conviction? Mississippi Woman Serving 44-Year Sentence Despite Discredited Testimony

HuffingtonPost.com | Radley Balko | Posted 10.09.2011 | Crime

Prosecutors in the U.S. often decry what is sometimes called the "CSI Effect." Movies and TV crime dramas like the popular "CSI" franchise on CBS can ...

INTERNATIONAL ART: King Henri IV's Head Identified And Sent Back To Crypt, After Two Centuries

France24 | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts

AFP - He was one of France's most adored kings, a monarch known as "le bon roi Henri" (good king Henri), who promoted religious tolerance, was a hit w...

Conviction: Unvalidated Science in the Courtroom

Linda Kenney Baden | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Linda Kenney Baden

The movie Conviction is a compelling hit. It is both a condemnation of the criminal justice system and a celebration of familial love that leads a sis...

Crime Labs Need Independence and Robust Oversight to Ensure Justice

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
John Terzano

San Francisco's top public defender, Jeff Adachi, recently called for the city's crime lab to become independent of the police department. This announ...

Another Exoneration Demonstrates the Need for Criminal Justice Reform

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

A fair and accurate system not only prevents wrongful convictions, it more effectively identifies the guilty and strengthens public trust in our system of justice.

Meaningful Oversight is Necessary for Reliable Forensic Science

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
John Terzano

Concerns about the validity of forensic evidence have come to the fore in recent years following a series of wrongful convictions and other scandals a...

Forensic Lab Problems Cry Out for More Oversight and Quality Standards

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
John Terzano

A spate of recent news reports has called into question the objectivity of some forensic evidence and highlighted the need for effective oversight mec...