Forensic Science

REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity of Feature-Comparison Methods

“Forensic science” has been defined as the application of scientific or technical practices to the recognition, collection, analysis, and interpretation of evidence for criminal and civil law or regulatory issues. Developments over the past two decades—including the exoneration of defendants who had been wrongfully convicted based in part on forensic-science evidence, a variety of studies of the scientific underpinnings of the forensic disciplines, reviews of expert testimony based on forensic findings, and scandals in state crime laboratories—have called increasing attention to the question of the validity and reliability of some important forms of forensic evidence and of testimony based upon them. Get a copy of the report HERE

Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward

The Senate Report also sets forth the charge to the Forensic Science Committee, instructing it to:

  1. assess the present and future resource needs of the forensic science community, to include State and local crime labs, medical examin-ers, and coroners;
  2. make recommendations for maximizing the use of forensic tech-nologies and techniques to solve crimes, investigate deaths, and protect the public;
  3. identify potential scientific advances that may assist law enforce-ment in using forensic technologies and techniques to protect the public;
  4. make recommendations for programs that will increase the number of qualified forensic scientists and medical examiners available to work in public crime laboratories;
  5. disseminate best practices and guidelines concerning the collection and analysis of forensic evidence to help ensure quality and con-sistency in the use of forensic technologies and techniques to solve crimes, investigate deaths, and protect the public;
  6. examine the role of the forensic community in the homeland secu-rity mission;
  7. [examine] interoperability of Automated Fingerprint Information Systems [AFIS]; and
  8. examine additional issues pertaining to forensic science as deter-mined by the Committee.

Get the Senate report HERE

Learned Helplessness, Criminalization, and Victimization in Vulnerable Youth | By Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, Evangeline Lopoo, and Anamika Dwivedi (December 2020) – Square One Project

Learned Helplessness, Criminalization, and Victimization in Vulnerable Youth | By Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, Evangeline Lopoo, and Anamika Dwivedi (December 2020) – Square One Project
— Read on squareonejustice.org/paper/learned-helplessness-criminalization-and-victimization-in-vulnerable-youth-by-elizabeth-trejos-castillo-evangeline-lopoo-and-anamika-dwivedi-december-2020/

A Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform | American Civil Liberties Union

This ACLU research report, A Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform, details marijuana arrests from 2010 to 2018 and examines racial disparities at the national, state, and county levels. Updating our previous report, The War on Marijuana in Black and White, that examined arrests from 2000 to 2010, this report reveals that the racist war on marijuana is far from over. More than six million arrests occurred between 2010 and 2018, and Black people are still more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people in every state, including those that have legalized marijuana.
— Read on www.aclu.org/report/tale-two-countries-racially-targeted-arrests-era-marijuana-reform/

A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention. — ProPublica

A 15-year-old in Michigan was incarcerated during the coronavirus pandemic after a judge ruled that not completing her schoolwork violated her probation. “It just doesn’t make any sense,” said the girl’s mother.
— Read on www.propublica.org/article/a-teenager-didnt-do-her-online-schoolwork-so-a-judge-sent-her-to-juvenile-detention

Judges Are Locking Up Children for Noncriminal Offenses Like Repeatedly Disobeying Their Parents and Skipping School — ProPublica

Michigan’s juvenile justice system is archaic. Counties act with little oversight, and the state keeps such poor data it doesn’t know how many juveniles it has in custody or what happens to them once they’re in the system.
— Read on www.propublica.org/article/judges-are-locking-up-children-for-noncriminal-offenses-like-repeatedly-disobeying-their-parents-and-skipping-school