News 05.24.12

Science Thursday – May 24, 2012

Doubts linger about the reliability of a California coroner’s work, Houston takes another step toward ensuring the independence of its new Crime Laboratory, and a DC man’s conviction has been overturned based on new doubts about the forensic evidence. Here’s this week’s round up of forensic news:

A D.C. Superior Court judge has

overturned

the murder conviction of Santae Tribble.  Tribble was linked to the crime by microscopic hair evidence, which has been shown to be unreliable.  Recent DNA testing of the hair excluded Tribble.

Houston’s mayor has

recommended

nine members for the Houston Forensic Science Local Government Corporation which will oversee the new Houston Crime Laboratory.

A National Law Review op-ed discusses the importance of

independent crime laboratories

.

Professor David Kaye, a legal expert on scientific evidence,

critiques

a recent PBS Frontline documentary on forensic evidence, “The Real CSI,” as well as the response of the American Society of Crime Lab Directors to the episode.

Despite an initial review showing repeated flaws in a coroner’s work, a California Sheriff does not intend to review the other

300 cases

the coroner conducted in his county.

The President of The Constitution Project calls for Congress to pass

pending legislation

to ensure that future defendants in systemic forensic failures have access to all information to which they are constitutionally entitled.

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