Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Return of Forensic Scientist!

Monday, December 17th, 2012

I read with shame that my last post was mid August.  That means it’s been four months since I last wrote a post and therefore four months where I have felt a pang of guilt on a nearly daily basis about not having written something, particularly when there was something on which I had a (read more)

Alcohol interlocks are coming….

Friday, August 17th, 2012

I read today in my.lawsociety (NZ Law Society publication) that ordering the fitting of alcohol interlocks to vehicles owned by people convicted of drink driving is going to be an option available to the NZ courts as of 10 September this year.  An alcohol interlock operates in a similar manner to a breathalyser in that (read more)

FBI admits flaws in forensic science evidence – how about NZ?

Monday, July 16th, 2012

“The [US] Justice Department and the FBI have launched a review of thousands of criminal cases to determine whether any defendants were wrongly convicted or deserve a new trial because of flawed forensic evidence” So reads the Washington Post on July 11. The article indicates the problems with fibre and hair evidence, which are notoriously (read more)

On vein patterns and dead pythons – outdoor body recovery course

Monday, July 9th, 2012

The Outdoor Body Recovery Course was fun.  It’s a difficult thing to say to people because how can it be fun collecting samples from unfortunate individuals who have died and whose remains are found outdoors?  It’s one of those uncomfortable  definitions of ‘fun’ that would probably be more appropriately labelled ‘rewarding’ or ‘fulfilling’.  However, on (read more)

Our (training) grave was robbed!!

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Well, maybe, anyway.  I spent a couple of days last week in a field in Oxfordshire, England, training specialist police officers/crime scene examiners how to collect samples for soil and pollen analysis from outdoor body locations as part of criminal investigations.  My ‘crime scene’ was under a tree and involved the use of a mannequin (read more)

ID by fingerprints: not fact but opinion

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Many people in New Zealand still seem unaware of the substantial shake-up going on in forensic science globally. Alot of it has come from the USA National Academy of Science’s review on forensic science. Some has come from the UK Law Commission’s review of forensic science practices. One of the many areas of interest is (read more)

Legal Aid costs and forensic science: the cost of justice?

Friday, May 4th, 2012

NZ has spent NZ$1 billion dollars on Legal Aid in the last 12 years, since 2000.  So it is reported: The cost of justice: legal aid bill $1 billion . The five most expensive cases involved individuals found not guilty or whose cases were discharged. Based on my experience, it costs money to investigate a (read more)

Forensic science 360 degree crime scene mapping

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Revolutionising crime scene investigation seems to be the net result of the 360-degree crime scene mapping developed and used by ESR Forensic, as seen on TV: TV3 News. I’ve seen this technology at work and it does seem to do a great job of recording the scene. As with all new technologies though we need (read more)

Tearing knickers and why it needs to be done

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Those leaders in science blogging and the founders of the the Ig Nobel Prize at blogged last week about new research from Otago University with a blog entitled A new twist in forensic knicker-testing. It’s a brief (no pun actually intended) post that states an NZ study “tested the tearing of knickers, and found (read more)

International Justice Conference – lessons learned? Probably not yet but it’s a start

Monday, April 9th, 2012

I arrive in Perth in 40 degree heat with a fierce wind whipping across the Hertz car park and the promise that it’ll be 45 by Sunday. I’m well and truly heated through by the time I get to my tiny hire car. I have no idea what is ahead of me for the next (read more)

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