Posts Tagged 'Forensic science'

Dahlia Lithwick – Pseudoscience in the Witness Box

The Washington Post published a story so horrifying this weekend that it would stop your breath: “The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.”

What went wrong? The Post continues“Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in ...

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Feeling sleepy? You might be at risk of falsely confessing to a crime you did not commit

If you are one of the millions of people who have listened to the podcast “Serial” or watched Netflix’s series “Making a Murderer,” you may believe there are innocent people in prison.

But long before the cases of Adnan Syed, Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey were brought to the public’s attention, we and other researchers have been hard at work studying how it is that innocent people sometimes go to prison for crimes they did not ...

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Mahmoud El-Yousseph – What would Prophet Mohammad do to Trump?

Leading GOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump calling for a “total and complete ban on Muslims entering the US” is the worst public insult directed against Muslims I have ever heard in 40 years of living in America.

He has even suggested that American Muslims be required to register in a database and have their mosques be put under surveillance or completely shut down. The proposal will affect US citizens visiting abroad and US Muslim soldiers returning back home from tours of ...

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Ray McGovern – Propaganda, Intelligence and MH-17

During a recent interview, I was asked to express my conclusions about the July 17, 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, prompting me to take another hard look at Official Washington’s dubious claims – pointing the finger of blame at eastern Ukrainian rebels and Moscow – based on shaky evidence regarding who was responsible for this terrible tragedy.

Unlike serious professional investigative reporters, intelligence analysts often are required by policymakers to reach rapid judgments without the twin luxuries ...

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Francis Thackeray – Was William Shakespeare high when he penned his plays

State-of-the-art forensic technology from South Africa has been used to try and unravel the mystery of what was smoked in tobacco pipes found in the Stratford-upon-Avon garden of William Shakespeare.

Residue from clay tobacco pipes more than 400 years old from the playwright’s garden were analysed in Pretoria using a sophisticated technique called gas chromatography mass spectrometry.

Chemicals from pipe bowls and stems which had been excavated from Shakespeare’ garden and ...

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US admits FBI falsified evidence to obtain convictions – Kate Randall

The US Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that over a more than two-decade period before 2000, nearly every FBI examiner gave flawed forensic hair testimony in almost all trials of criminal defendants reviewed so far, according to a report in the Washington Post.

The cases examined include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death, 14 of whom have been either executed or died in prison. The scandal raises the very real ...

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