News 05.22.09

Friday Roundup: Unvalidated Forensics

As the new

Just Science Coalition

calls for forensic reform in the United States, cases involving unvalidated forensics continued to make news this week:

Joseph Ramirez has been convicted four times in Florida for a 1983 murder, and each trial involved a form of unvalidated forensic evidence – from toolmark comparison to shoeprint identification.

Reporter Maurice Possley wrote about his case this week at the Crime Report

.

Meanwhile, an Oklahoma man was charged with murder

based on bite-mark evidence

.

For more stories on forensic science and calls for reform, remember to check

the news page

at the new Just Science Coalition website. Innocence Project supporters continued to sign the coalition’s petition this week calling for a federal agency to support and oversee forensic science in the U.S.

Add your name today

.

A column in the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram this week praised Dallas for its Conviction Integrity Unit and

called on Tarrant County

(which includes Fort Worth) to improve its reviews of possible wrongful convictions and its evidence preservation practices. On Thursday, Tarrant County DA Joe Shannon, Jr.,

responded to the column

, writing: “Because of our history of integrity, openness and discretion, Tarrant County has been spared the rash of wrongful convictions that have made headlines elsewhere.”

Guardian columnist Eric Allison wrote this week about his theory on

why prisoners seem to be good at determining when a fellow inmate has a legitimate claim of innocence

.

A civil jury recently found “

clear and convincing evidence of innocence

” in the case of Massachusetts exoneree Ulysses Charles, making him eligible for up to $500,000 in damages.

Many readers of this blog are already members of our

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, but we now have a Facebook page, too.

Join here

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if there are other social network sites where you’d like the see an active Innocence Project presence.

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