This should help increase blood alcohol casework…

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

The article below was published by the BBC today and it deals with the release by a brewery of a beer that contains 18.2% alcohol by volume.  Over the years I have written reports for thousands of drink driving cases.  I also spent 8 years at University and many months travelling around overseas.  All in all, I’ve (read more)

Michael Crichton – Next

Friday, September 25th, 2009

An extract from Michael Crichton’s Next, 2006: “The ultimate lesson is that science isn’t special – at least not anymore.  Maybe back when Einstein talked to Niels Bohr, and there were only a few dozen important workers in every field.  But there are now three million researchers in America.  It’s no longer a calling, it’s (read more)

Cold case review solves 30 year old murder

Friday, September 25th, 2009

There has been quite a bit of adverse publicity recently surrounding the reliability of forensic science, including DNA (consider: the US review of forensic science; the use, or not, of LCN DNA in the UK; the execution of a Texas man for a murder for which he was later found not to be guilty) this (read more)

Update on US review of forensic science

Friday, September 25th, 2009

From dotmed.com “Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Strengthening Forensic Science 18 September 2009 The U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary recently held a further hearing on problems in forensic science. The hearing continues the investigation from March of this year on the standards of forensic science, which focused on a February National Academy of (read more)

Forensic Science Service IT overhaul

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Assuming this report is accurate, the first thing that springs to mind are the 800 job losses that are expected at the Forensic Science Service. “UK Forensics has £3 million IT overhaul September 23, 2009, sourcingfocus.com Britain’s Forensic Science Service (FSS) is said to have experienced an increase in efficiency and cost-effectiveness as a result (read more)

Identification by dog sniff….

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Excuse my incredulity but I couldn’t believe it when I read this article.  I am amazed that this could ever be used as part of a court case – does it meet either the Daubert or Frye tests (I admit I don’t know which, if either, applies in Texas but all the same, there must (read more)

Christchurch's "House of Horrors"

Monday, September 21st, 2009

For those outside New Zealand who aren’t aware, two bodies were found beneath the floor of a house two weeks ago in Christchurch, South Island.  They were the bodies of a woman who had been missing for a year and the body of the wife of the man who lived in the house – this (read more)

A cautionary word on the meaning of "evidence"

Friday, September 18th, 2009

When writing reports I am always very careful about using the word “evidence”.  A colleague once recounted a story to me about an experience he had in court in the early stages of his career.  He had used the word “evidence” in his report when talking about what he had found during his examinations at (read more)

Bitemark evidence – another example of the need for a database

Friday, September 18th, 2009

The following article appeared in Science Daily on 17 September 2009.  It seems that this field of expertise, bitemarks, has fallen foul of the usual criticisms of unusual evidence types – the lack of an adequate, representative database for interpretation of information in a given case.  Without such a database there is no real way (read more)

Forensic science cost-cutting could cause errors, say experts

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

This is an article from the Guardian, 13 September 2009.  It basically outlines what has happened in England & Wales and what we, here in New Zealand, should be glad has not happened – yet.  Although I am sure some would argue that there is a need for the stranglehold of ESR (the main provider (read more)

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