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G o o d   M o r n i n g !
Monday, May 29, 2006

The purpose of the Detail is to help keep you informed of the current state of affairs in the latent print community, to provide an avenue to circulate original fingerprint-related articles, and to announce important events as they happen in our field.
Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac

Challenge To Ministers Over McKie   SCOTSMAN, UK - May 28, 2006 ...a "failure of duty" accusation for refusing to disclose all they know about the McKie scandal...

MSP Urges Closure of Fingerprint Bureau ePOLITIX.COM, UK- May 26, 2006 MSP has called for the closure of the Glasgow fingerprints bureau of the SCRO...

Five Cases in Which SCRO Evidence Has Been in Doubt   SCOTSMAN, UK - May 26, 2006 ...there have been five contested print identifications by the SCRO in the past decade...

McKie in Angry Clashes with MSPs Over Print Questions   SCOTSMAN, UK- May 24, 2006 ...McKie angrily accused MSPs of putting her on trial again...

Recent CLPEX Posting Activity
Last Week's Board topics containing new posts
Moderated by Steve Everist
There they go again.
Pat A. Wertheim Mon May 29, 2006 6:33 pm

Iraq jobs
Kathy Saviers Sun May 28, 2006 8:51 pm

Need Testing
txlegal Sun May 28, 2006 5:52 pm

Footwear and Digital Photography
Kelly Zirngibl Sun May 28, 2006 8:17 am

DNA McKie Case
EmmaC Sat May 27, 2006 9:21 am

Identification by Concensus
Pat A. Wertheim Sat May 27, 2006 2:19 am

Journal Articles - McKie case
EmmaC Thu May 25, 2006 9:06 pm

flying monkey Thu May 25, 2006 12:38 am

ABFDE Daubert form posted
Jan Seaman Kelly Wed May 24, 2006 4:27 pm

Forensic Science Degrees
EmmaC Wed May 24, 2006 11:15 am

Latent prints on deceased bodies
Danny L. Harness Tue May 23, 2006 7:43 pm

Evidence packaging
esmaltz Tue May 23, 2006 2:57 pm

Processing reports.
Wayne Reutzel Mon May 22, 2006 6:22 pm

Processing Wood
II2None59 Mon May 22, 2006 4:06 pm



No major updates on the website this week.


Last week

Clifton Bishop provided a look at the Forensic and Investigative Science Program at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV.

This week

we link to the National Academy of Sciences Colloquium on Forensic Science and the Law to experience multimedia presentations.
Forensic Science: The Nexus of Science and the Law
National Academy of Sciences
Washington, DC

Meeting Overview

Organized by Stephen E. Fienberg, Margaret A. Berger, David Donoho, Donald Kennedy, Roger Kahn, and Douglas H. Ubelaker

Held November 16-18, 2005

The Sackler Colloquium on Forensic Science: The Nexus of Science and the Law was held on November 16-18, 2005.  This Colloquium reviewed the science in forensic science from multiple perspectives: the perspective of government forensic laboratories, the basic science underlying forensic technologies, and, of course, from the perspective of the courts, which ultimately must judge what scientific evidence should be admitted.

The Supreme Court's Daubert standard has generated some ambiguity for the legal community, but the Court did list several criteria for qualifying expert testimony: peer review, error rate, adequate testing, regular standards and techniques, and general acceptance. The controversy over a recent federal court ruling on fingerprint evidence has reignited some old challenges to "forensic science."

The Colloquium used the term "forensic science" to mean the use of science evidence in legal evidentiary contexts. This is a far broader definition than that adopted by "forensic" practitioners, but much of the focus is nonetheless on traditional forensic tools, those that are gaining currency, and those that might in the future. The criminal justice system and the courts in particular, are slow to adopt new scientific procedures. The acceptance of DNA evidence and the standardization of laboratory procedures for DNA analysis eventually broke through that barrier, well after there was scientific proof of their reliability. But there were numerous questions that had to be answered about using DNA evidence in a forensic context that never had to be considered by scientists engaged in DNA research, issues such as contamination, degradation, and a number of statistical issues. Two NRC Committees issued reports on the topic and they raised issues such as the uniqueness of an individual DNA profile, sample consumption, and a defendant's right to retesting. Some of these questions turned out to cause no problems, but they had to be asked and answered, and most of the courts, considering what a revolutionary form of evidence this was, responded fairly quickly. At issue now is the reliability of other forensic science methods as well as how the courts should respond to novel scientific evidence.

The Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia of the National Academy of Sciences address scientific topics of broad and current interest, cutting across the boundaries of traditional disciplines. Each year, four to six such colloquia are scheduled, typically two days in length and international in scope. Colloquia are organized by a member of the Academy, often with the assistance of an organizing committee, and feature presentations by leading scientists in the field and discussions with a hundred or more researchers with an interest in the topic. These colloquia are made possible by a generous gift from Jill Sackler, in memory of her husband, Arthur M. Sackler.

Instead of transcribing a lecture, this week I encourage you to visit the website yourself and review the forensic related presentations from the November 2005 "Sackler Colloquia".  The slide shows appear on your screen as the actual audio of the presenter walks you through the presentations.  Pick a topic of interest and attend the lecture!

On the right you will see "Forensic Science"

Or visit the main forensic page at:

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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.

Have a GREAT week!