Science Thursdays: Forensic Evidence Faces More Careful Scrutiny from the Bench


Judges are beginning to scrutinize forensic evidence more carefully, a medical examiner raises the issue of bias in forensic pathology and the use of digital forensics continues to expand in police investigations.   Here’s a roundup of forensics news:

Judges are beginning to scrutinize forensic evidence

more carefully

as it becomes increasingly clear that many forensic disciplines do not pass the Daubert test.

A Michigan judge ruled that blood alcohol tests are

not reliable

because they do not report an error rate or margin of error when recording blood alcohol results.

An upstate New York woman seeks a new trial based on the fiber evidence in her case involving the

discredited analyst Garry Veeder


A Colorado medical examiner raises the issue of

contextual bias

in forensic pathology.

Animal Care Services in San Antonio

is aided by a forensic veterinarian who performs animal autopsies. A Michigan State University study found that digital forensic examiners are playing an

increasingly vital

and expanded role in police investigations.


recruited 3 computer security and forensics firms to investigate the data breaches that compromised more than 100 million user accounts.

A  French news agency uses a software technology that can analyze pixels to detect if a

digital image has been manipulated

The U.S. government is using advanced computer forensics called “

media exploitation

” to draw information from the computers and files found at Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

Equipment believed to have

identified Osama bin Laden

included facial recognition and other biometrics analysis included in a device called a Secure Electronic Enrollment Kit (SEEK).

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