News 03.03.11

Science Thursdays: NY Governor Responds to Lab Scandal

Self-destructing computer data storage, the UK sees forensic research privatized, and persisting problems in American crime labs – here’s a roundup of forensic news:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed the State Inspector General to

investigate

the Nassau County police crime lab.

Subpoenas were issued

on Tuesday to the Nassau police department and several civilian lab employees.

Unlike magnetic-based hard drives, data stored on flash drives and other solid state memory can

self-erase

, creating evidentiary problems.

The D.C. City Council is holding a hearing on how flawed breathalyzer equipment calls into question

hundreds of drunken driving convictions

.

Since 2009, Houston has been using

private consultants

to run the city’s fingerprint department because of earlier problems.

The UK’s privatization of forensic science research

raises concerns

over whether private companies, afraid of commercial competition, will refuse to reveal procedures used in forensic testing.

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