Monthly Archives: July 2014

New technology helps sheriff fight crime

Lost HillsMajor crimes, such as homicides, are rare in the local area. Petty thefts and burglaries are more common occurrences, but they still require ingenuity in order to solve.
Using a collaborative criminal fingerprint and DNA processing program—and by broadening its public outreach efforts online— the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station has increased its ability to solve local crimes.

Federal review stalled after finding forensic errors by FBI lab unit spanned two decades

FBINearly every criminal case reviewed by the FBI and the Justice Department as part of a massive investigation started in 2012 of problems at the FBI lab has included flawed forensic testimony from the agency, government officials said.
The findings troubled the bureau, and it stopped the review of convictions last August. Case reviews resumed this month at the order of the Justice Department, the officials said.

Bill aims to strengthen forensic training in sexual assault cases

CA domeCalifornia- The Defense Department must improve its procedures for investigating sexual assaults by standardizing training requirements for medical experts who examine victims and analyze rape kits, a bipartisan group of lawmakers say.

Ancient Mummies Prove Heart Disease Is as Old as We Are

OtziHeart disease is thought to be a modern-day ailment, but it turns out that the arteries of ancient men and women weren’t in great shape either. Researchers have found evidence of atherosclerosis in a number of ancient mummies from around the world. Atherosclerosis is hardening of the arteries that lead to the heart caused by a buildup of plaque.

Solving crimes the hi-tech way

solving_crime-delh_2029587fINDIA- With the number of pending cases mounting at the only Forensic Science Laboratory, the government has roped in private players.
To ensure that evidence collection is done in a professional and scientific manner, the Delhi Government is in the process of establishing a Mobile Crime Scene Unit. The unit will function as a mobile forensic science laboratory and accompany policemen to the crime scene for lifting evidence.

Home Office rewards police innovation with £50 million

GATCAll forces in England and Wales benefit from Police Innovation Fund
Every police force in England and Wales will receive a share of a £50 million Home Office fund for projects aimed at transforming policing through innovation and collaboration.
The successful schemes include investment in body-worn camera, groundbreaking forensics techniques and joint working between the police and fire service.
Forces were awarded money for new approaches to tackle anti-social behaviour and rural crime; a project to help young runaways; and work to improve the way the police interact with people with mental health problems

Wrongly Convicted, Ireland Makes Case For Compensation

IrelandHARTFORD — Kenneth Ireland — an innocent man convicted of the brutal rape and murder of a Wallingford mother — was convinced he’d die in prison, of old age or, more likely, of violence.
Every waking moment of his 21 years in prison he had a knot of fear in his stomach. He was surrounded by violence and by violent people — murderers, rapists, armed robbers.

Victims wait for justice as rape kits sit in lab backlogs

sexual assault kitsLOUISVILLE, Ky. —Thousands of rape kits are collecting dust in crime labs across the country while many offenders remain free.
It’s become such a problem that Congress is considering legislation to give $41 million in grant money to help clear the backlog.

MH17: 60 cases processed to date, says DVI team leader

MH 17UTRECHT (Netherlands): It is hoped that the disaster victim identification (DVI) process at Hilversum will be completed in around two to three weeks time with around 60 cases processed so far, said Malaysian team leader Dr Mohd Shah Mahmood.
However, he stressed that the actual process of identifying the victims was not done at the medical military base there but by a specialised team at The Hague.

New forensic lab will enhance services, add jobs in the region

VA DFSThe Virginia Department of Forensic Science held a ceremonial ground breaking for the new building Monday.

Canada works to institute a national missing persons DNA databank

Canadian FlagJudy Peterson arranged to meet a pair of British Columbia RCMP officers on the side of the road halfway between Courtenay and Victoria. The police opened the back of their SUV, retrieved a DNA collection kit and pricked Ms. Peterson’s fingertip for blood.
The sample was transformed into a genetic profile and uploaded into the province’s DNA databank, where it was cross-checked with profiles culled from unidentified remains – a system unique to B.C. in Canada. There wasn’t a match: Ms. Peterson’s missing daughter, Lindsey, wasn’t among the remains stored at the B.C. Coroners Service facility.

Man exonerated by DNA – and he didn’t even request it

Justice and DNAMichael Phillips had long ago given up trying to clear his name. At 57, he was a registered sex offender, living in a nursing home, wheelchair-bound from severe sickle cell anemia.
Then in May, two police officers delivered news that Phillips says only God could have ordained: Dallas County, Texas, prosecutors had proved through DNA testing that he had spent 12 years in prison for a rape he hadn’t committed.

More attention to be focused on solving cold cases

cold case logoCHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) – There are 140 unsolved murders in Hamilton County, and some families have gone more than 40 years without answers. But local law enforcement is hoping to soon change that by focusing more attention on cold cases.

Australians working to identify MH17 victims

MH17The Hilversum military barracks are surrounded by Dutch forest. It’s a pretty place.
But inside a vast hall some 200 forensic experts from around the world are performing an ugly task. They are identifying the MH17 dead.

National DNA database

helix 7Tanzania- The state through the Government Chemist Laboratory Agency (GCLA) is putting in place a computerized national DNA database that will include citizens’ official documents to address a conflicting number of legal issues.