News 01.12.12

Science Thursday

In this week’s forensic news: A survey finds that many medical examiner’s offices are not staffed by certified forensic pathologists; the Texas State Fire Marshall resigns as a review of arson cases begins; and the Illinois State Police review the work of a fingerprint examiner.  Here’s a roundup:

A survey of the nation’s 69

busiest coroner and medical examiner offices

found that more than 1 in 5 of the physicians working in these morgues were not board certified in forensic pathology.

The Texas state fire marshal who defended the agency’s work in the Cameron Todd Willingham arson investigation

resigned as his agency was to embark on a review of arson cases

with the Innocence Project of Texas under the recommendation of the Texas Forensic Science Commission.

The work of an

Illinois State Police fingerprint examiner is under review

after the examiner failed an internal quality assurance check. Most of the cases under review are burglaries, but the inquiry will also cover one death investigation and one attempted murder case.

A new

nine-story Institute of Forensic Sciences facility

in Harris County will begin construction in 2013.  This new Texas crime lab was funded by $80 million in bonds approved by voters in 2007.

A man

convicted of felony cocaine possession will receive a new hearing

because of drug testing issues uncovered at the now shuttered Nassau Country Crime Lab.

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