Forensic Magazine

Woman Suspected in Minnesota, Florida Deaths Caught in Texas

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:46
NewsA tip-off led to the arrest in Texas of a woman who investigators believe killed her husband in Minnesota then fled to Florida, where she fatally shot her doppelganger with the intention of assuming her identity, an official said Friday.Contributed Author: Associated Press
Categories: Law Enforcement

Alabama Mail-bomber the Oldest Executed in US Modern Times

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:40
NewsAn Alabama man convicted of sending mail bombs during a wave of Southern terror has been executed for killing a federal judge, becoming the oldest prisoner put to death in the U.S. in modern times.Contributed Author: Kim Chandler, Associated PressTopics: Death Penalty
Categories: Law Enforcement

Police Say Teen Who Searched for Missing Pal Was His Killer

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:35
NewsA 16-year-old who was part of a search party looking for a missing high school sports star led the group to discover the boy's body but investigators suspect he was the person who fatally stabbed his longtime friend and left his body in bushes near a riverbed, Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives said Thursday.Contributed Author: Michael Balsamo, Associated PressTopics: Crime Scene
Categories: Law Enforcement

Prince's Death: Superstar Didn't Know He Was Taking Fentanyl, No One Charged With a Crime

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:04
NewsMusic superstar Prince died two years ago because he thought he was taking the common painkiller Vicodin when, unbeknownst to him, it was laced with deadly fentanyl, authorities said Thursday. Just short of two years after Prince's death, authorities announced that no one will be charged with a crime in connection with his death because there's no evidence showing how he got fake Vicodin laced with fentanyl.Contributed Author: Maria Puente, USA TodayTopics: Toxicology
Categories: Law Enforcement

Five Years On, Will MIX13 DNA Study Be ‘Bombshell’ Paper?

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:52
NewsThe results of a NIST DNA mixture study showed that, as DNA sensitivity has grown by leaps and bounds, interpretation of those tiny clues has not kept pace. But those results were reached five years ago—and the study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.Staff Author: Seth AugensteinTopics: DNA
Categories: Law Enforcement

Lawyers: Inmate Set for Execution Should Be Resentenced

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 10:53
NewsA man set for execution next month should be resentenced because he wouldn’t get the death penalty if he were sentenced today, his lawyers argued in a court filing Wednesday.Contributed Author: Kate Brumback, Associated PressTopics: Death Penalty
Categories: Law Enforcement

Nanny Who Killed Kids While Parents Away Convicted of Murder

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 10:44
NewsA once-trusted nanny who butchered two children in her care while their parents were away was convicted of murder by a jury that didn't believe her claims she was too insane at the time of the crime to be held responsible.Contributed Author: Colleen Long, Associated PressTopics: Forensic Psychology
Categories: Law Enforcement

US Judges Should Do More Than Simply 'Apply the Law' When It Demands Cruel Sentences, Law Experts Argue

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 09:39
NewsIn a paper published by the Virginia Journal of Criminal Law, experts argue for strategies to help judges resolve conflicts between their morals and the letter of the law. The paper uses mandatory minimum sentences as a case study of one key context where judicial dilemmas often occur.Contributed Author: University of Surrey
Categories: Law Enforcement

Largest Maker of Bump Stocks Will Stop Accepting Orders

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 09:34
NewsThe largest manufacturer of bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like automatic firearms, announced Wednesday that it will stop taking orders and shut down its website next month.Contributed Author: Michael Balsamo, Associated PressTopics: Firearms
Categories: Law Enforcement

Can Estimates From Forensic Handwriting Experts Be Trusted in Court?

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 15:46
NewsScientific and forensic institutions increasingly ask handwriting experts to state the likelihood that a specific handwriting feature will occur in handwriting in the general public. Following a new study, researchers are now advising courts to take a cautionary approach when using experience-based likelihood ratios as evidence.Contributed Author: SpringerTopics: Witness Testimony
Categories: Law Enforcement

Former Jail Guards Who Falsified Records Sentenced in 2015 Inmate Dehydration Death

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 10:36
NewsTwo former Island County, Washington jail guards were sentenced Tuesday for their roles in what many are calling a systemic failure by Island County Jail staff that led to the 2015 dehydration death of a 25-year-old inmate.Contributed Author: Denver Pratt, The Bellingham HeraldTopics: Police Procedure
Categories: Law Enforcement

California Death Row Inmate to Be Freed; No Retrial Planned

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 10:21
NewsA man who spent nearly 25 years on California’s death row for raping and killing a toddler before his conviction was overturned won’t be retried and could be freed within days, authorities said Tuesday.Contributed Author: Associated PressTopics: Exonerations
Categories: Law Enforcement

Wanted: This Gambling Grandmother Who Impersonated a Look-alike — Then Killed Her, Police Say

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 10:14
NewsFor the past three weeks, police say, 56-year-old Lois Riess has led them on a nationwide pursuit—from the Minnesota worm farm where they found her husband shot to death last month; to Florida, where they think Riess befriended and killed a woman who looks like her to steal her identity; and finally to Texas, where police fear Riess may find her next target.Contributed Author: Avi Selk and Lindsey Bever, The Washington PostTopics: Unsolved
Categories: Law Enforcement

Sheriff’s Department to Review California Mansion Death

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 10:07
NewsThe San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will review the death of a woman found hanging inside a mansion after a lawsuit verdict contradicted investigators’ findings that she committed suicide.Contributed Author: Associated PressTopics: Crime Scene
Categories: Law Enforcement

Killing of Police Officer Renews Calls for Death Penalty

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 10:03
NewsThe killing of a Massachusetts police officer has some Republicans calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty for the murder of law enforcement officers.Contributed Author: Steve LeBlanc, Associated PressTopics: Death Penalty
Categories: Law Enforcement

Cops Didn't Read 'Helpful' Witness His Rights. Turns Out He May Be a Serial Killer

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 09:44
NewsKhalil Wheeler-Weaver was a "calm," even "helpful" witness, during the investigation into 19-year-old Robin West's murder, detectives said. But prosecutors say it turns out that Wheeler-Weaver was the one who killed West, strangled two more women and attempted to kill a fourth in separate attacks in Essex and Union counties.Contributed Author: Thomas Moriarty, NJ.comTopics: Witness Testimony
Categories: Law Enforcement

Second Lab Scandal in Mass. Leads to 11,000 Case Dismissals: ACLU

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:41
NewsThe second widespread forensic laboratory scandal in Massachusetts will bring more than 11,000 dismissed convictions, according to the state’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.Staff Author: Seth AugensteinTopics: Crime Lab
Categories: Law Enforcement

Army Develops Face Recognition Technology That Works in the Dark

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:34
NewsArmy researchers have developed an artificial intelligence and machine learning technique that produces a visible face image from a thermal image of a person's face captured in low-light or nighttime conditions. This development could lead to enhanced real-time biometrics and post-mission forensic analysis for covert nighttime operations.Contributed Author: U.S. Army Research LaboratoryTopics: Biometrics
Categories: Law Enforcement

Mother Testifies That Boyfriend Killed 3-year-old Kansas Boy

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:31
NewsA 3-year-old Kansas boy whose body was found encased in concrete last year sometimes was forced to stand naked in the basement of his home with his hands behind his back and a belt around his neck, and he was taunted and slapped while he screamed and cried, video and audio recordings played Monday in court revealed.Contributed Author: Associated PressTopics: Witness Testimony
Categories: Law Enforcement

Louisiana Takes Aim at Jim Crow-era Jury Law

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:21
NewsLouisiana is one of only two states in the country allowing a non-unanimous jury to convict a defendant of a felony, and a Louisiana lawmaker says it is time for the practice to end.Contributed Author: Anthony Izaguirre, Associated Press
Categories: Law Enforcement