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RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...

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  • trewCO@compuserve.com
    Message text written Jones, Erika (KSP) ... - one by the prosecutor, one by the regional supervisor, and one by the section supervisor?
    Message 1 of 20 , Feb 1, 2006
      Message text written "Jones, Erika (KSP)" <erika.jones@...>
      >What about my example of my laboratories policy - three evaluations a year
      -
      one by the prosecutor, one by the regional supervisor, and one by the
      section supervisor?<

      Why not ask some respected individual from the defence to evaluate.

      I undertake forensic and expert engagements from both prosecution and
      defence, as
      I have been doing the job so many years I am often asked to visit and
      evaluate police
      technical support labs and some defence labs as well.

      I am not criticising your choice, just observing the three above may not
      give you the
      fullest, roundest picture. I am sure you know what defence is like - find
      things you
      didn't notice or didn't consider.

      Greg UK
    • Henson, Lynn
      See REPLY Lynn ... From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Brent Turvey Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006
      Message 2 of 20 , Feb 1, 2006
        See REPLY
        Lynn
        -----Original Message-----
        From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Brent Turvey
        Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 8:53 PM
        To: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...

        Erika & Lynn;

        In response to the dinosaur....

        See below labeled RESPONSE.

        Brent

        -----Original Message-----
        From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jones, Erika (KSP)
        Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 7:11 AM
        To: 'forensic-science@yahoogroups.com'
        Subject: Re: [forensic-science] These are ideals...


        Erika, Just had to give you my dinosaur perspective on this...

        Lynn Henson
        US Army Crime Laboratory
        Trace Evidence Division
        4553 N 2ND Street
        Forest Park, GA 30297-5122
        404-469-7265 DSN 797-7265
        Lynn.Henson@...

        Brent,

        I think the reason you have to keep reiterating is that you have the 'What's
        but not the 'How's. How do you get an organization to stand behind what you
        propose? How do you get an organization to make these requirements? How do
        you get the back-woods country courtrooms to require these things? Many
        more 'How's need to be answered...

        I firmly believe that what you propose is where we should be heading. What
        I don't know is how to get there.
        EriKa et al....
        >>1. Develop an educational baseline requirement of a science degree and
        education in forensic science by practicing forensic scientists.

        ANSWER IN PROGRESS: See FEPAC Guidelines and accreditation of university
        forensic science programs

        RESPONSE: I have read the FEPAC Guidelines and the TWGED guidelines. Have
        you noticed who is being accredited and who is not? Accreditation seems to
        come rather quickly for some. I look at some of the schools that have been
        accredited by FEPAC and wonder how it is even possible. If you are not
        requiring that forensic science be taught by practicing or experienced
        forensic scientists, and if you are allowing police officers and district
        attorneys to teach forensic science courses, then you shouldn't be allowed
        to call it a forensic science degree. Forensic science curricula should
        teach in a manner consistent with the reality that there are two sides to
        the courtroom - not in a manner that creates division in favor of government
        labs in opposition to a well informed defense. Moreover, TWGED falls very
        far short of requiring a hard science degree for forensic scientists. In
        fact it goes to great lengths to accommodate non science practitioners and
        provide them coverage. As long as it does this, it is less valuable than
        toilet paper to the development of science in forensic science.
        see: http://www.aafs.org/pdf/NIJReport.pdf

        REPLY:
        Which part of this (http://www.aafs.org/pdf/NIJReport.pdf)says no science
        required?

        What does the working group recommend?
        A solid educational background in natural sciences with extensive laboratory
        coursework establishes the groundwork for a career in forensic science.
        Strong personal attributes, professional skills, certification, and
        professional involvement also are critical to the professional growth of
        prospective and practicing forensic scientists.
        Undergraduate degree. Undergraduate forensic science degree programs are
        expected to deliver a strong and credible science foundation that emphasizes
        the scientific method and problem-solving skills. Exemplary programs would
        be interdisciplinary and include substantial laboratory work, as most
        employment opportunities occur in laboratory settings. Natural sciences
        should dominate undergraduate curriculums and be supported by coursework in
        specialized, forensic, and laboratory sciences and other classes that
        complement the student's area of concentration.
        Graduate degree. Graduate programs can move students from theoretical
        concepts to discipline-specific knowledge. Exemplary curriculums can include
        such topics as crime scenes, physical evidence, law/ science interface,
        ethics, and quality assurance
        to complement the student's advanced coursework. Graduate programs should be
        designed with strong laboratory and research components. Access to
        instructional laboratories with research-specific facilities, equipment, and
        instrumentation
        and interaction with forensic laboratories are required to enhance the
        graduate-level experience. By emphasizing written and oral communication and
        report writing, graduate programs can prepare students for future courtroom
        testimony.
        Forensic scientists have an ongoing obligation to advance their field
        through training and continuing professional development. Training programs
        should include written components (e.g., instructor qualifications, student
        requirements, performance goals, and competency testing), and their content
        should contain several core and discipline-specific elements guided by
        peer-defined standards.
        Continuing professional development-mechanisms through which forensic
        scientists remain current or advance their expertise-should be structured,
        measurable, and documented.


        2. Develop and enforce a universal set of forensic practice standards (to
        include adherence to the analytical logic and the scientific method when
        interpreting evidence).

        ANSWER IN PROGRESS: See SWGMAT, DAB, SWGDRUG, TWGDAM, ASTM, etc along with
        Certification from ABC, AFTE, ASQDE, IAI

        RESPONSE: I've read these as well, and while SOME of these give lip service
        to the scientific method, most do not have the first clue what it is let
        alone require the testing and skepticism that science mandates. Especially
        the IAI and AFTE. Certifications in these are all but worthless from what
        can be seen of examiner ignorance in court - save the ABC which seems to
        have a better grip on its horses.

        REPLY - As an active member of the ABC, thanks for acknowledging we are
        making progress.

        3. Develop and enforce a universal code of conduct, the failure to adhere to
        should result in a lifelong ban from court testimony.

        ANSWER - We don't act as any gate keeper to the Judiciary and have no power
        to direct what will and will not be allowed in court. I've had a Judge rule
        that I can't testify to cross sectional information providing discrimination
        between fibers because "it's just my opinion it varies". Unfortunately, I
        was unable to get the prosecutor to ask me any questions to bring out the
        fact cross sectional shapes are actually patented (described in patent law)
        by the fiber producers. Taught me to go to ask a Prosecutor to ask me why I
        look at "X" characteristic in a fiber if a specific issue comes up.

        RESPONSE: Agencies whose employees lie in their CVs or on the stand should
        not have to be told by the court to bar their people from testimony. The
        current habit is to move them around and hide them - or hope nobody brings
        it up.

        4. Separate labs from police departments both physically, financially, and
        organizationally.
        We are public servants. By definition of public servants work for the
        government of the people, providing a commodity for all members of society
        without regard to the fact it can not be done profitably. To my way of
        thinking that is exactly why private crime labs are not the way to go.

        RESPONSE: This response more than oversimplifies a very complex issue, and
        is more than a little naive. Private forensic work can indeed be done
        profitably, and is being done. This is why so many public labs have
        contracts with private labs to handle services they can't offer, or to
        handle overflow. However, separating the lab from the police does not mean
        removing it from government. The government lab should exist under the
        direction and budget of some other division of the state - just not with or
        beneath the police.


        REPLY -
        My point is that Forensic science exams should be available those who cannot
        afford it (and is indeed available in all those cases where crime lab
        provide "negative" results). I'm not impressed with the error rate coming
        from private labs or the contracts (signed by government labs who out source
        exams)calling for additional cases to be worked as a penalty for any errors
        found in the out sourced cases. (If you screw-up, you have to work X more
        cases for us at no charge.) Ideally we'd all be under the court system but
        then, who works cases where on charges have been filed?


        5. Institute mandatory double blind proficiencies and make the results
        public/ discoverable.

        Actually good proficiency test would be a first step. Collaborative testing
        has repeatedly provided test where problems have been uncovered by us poor
        working grunts. ASCLD approves them, not me.

        RESPONSE: Why do we have to wait for ASCLD to tell us how to be scientists?
        That part always confuses the heck out of me. Why are we always needing
        permission? In any case, I agree that good (double blind) proficiency
        testing would be a first step in the right direction. Sadly, ASCLD relies on
        formalistic review and the like. But don't blame them for what you could be
        doing without them.


        6. Disallow the use of non-forensic scientists in any interpretive role with
        respect to the physical evidence. They may observe, and testify about
        observations, but the may not interpret ala US v. Green (2005):

        RESPONSE: This is the most important issue of all - interpretation and who
        can/ should do it is where the rubber meets the road. And it was ignored.
        That's a pity.

        Brent
        Brent E. Turvey, MS - Forensic Science
        Forensic Solutions, LLC
        bturvey@...
        http://www.forensic-science.com

        Author of:
        Turvey, B. (2002) Criminal Profiling, 2nd Ed., London: Elsevier Science
        http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/cp/cp_index.html

        Savino J. & Turvey B. (2004) Rape Investigation Handbook, San Diego:
        Elsevier Science
        http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/rih/rih_index.html

        Chisum, W.J. & Turvey B. (2006) Crime Reconstruction, Boston: Elsevier
        Science
        http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.editors/707312/description

        "... the intermixing of science and politics is a bad combination with a bad
        history. We must remember the history, and be certain that what we present
        to the world as knowledge is disinterested and honest."
        - Crichton, M. (2004) State of Fear, New York: Harper-Collins Publisher;
        p.638







        To subscribe send a blank e-mail to:
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        forensic-science-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

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      • Henson, Lynn
        Sorry, I forgot to reply to 5. see below ... From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Henson, Lynn Sent:
        Message 3 of 20 , Feb 1, 2006
          Sorry, I forgot to reply to 5. see below

          -----Original Message-----
          From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Henson, Lynn
          Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 7:50 AM
          To: 'forensic-science@yahoogroups.com'
          Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...

          See REPLY
          Lynn
          -----Original Message-----
          From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Brent Turvey
          Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 8:53 PM
          To: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...

          Erika & Lynn;

          In response to the dinosaur....

          See below labeled RESPONSE.

          Brent

          -----Original Message-----
          From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jones, Erika (KSP)
          Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 7:11 AM
          To: 'forensic-science@yahoogroups.com'
          Subject: Re: [forensic-science] These are ideals...


          Erika, Just had to give you my dinosaur perspective on this...

          Lynn Henson
          US Army Crime Laboratory
          Trace Evidence Division
          4553 N 2ND Street
          Forest Park, GA 30297-5122
          404-469-7265 DSN 797-7265
          Lynn.Henson@...

          Brent,

          I think the reason you have to keep reiterating is that you have the 'What's
          but not the 'How's. How do you get an organization to stand behind what you
          propose? How do you get an organization to make these requirements? How do
          you get the back-woods country courtrooms to require these things? Many
          more 'How's need to be answered...

          I firmly believe that what you propose is where we should be heading. What
          I don't know is how to get there.
          EriKa et al....
          >>1. Develop an educational baseline requirement of a science degree and
          education in forensic science by practicing forensic scientists.

          ANSWER IN PROGRESS: See FEPAC Guidelines and accreditation of university
          forensic science programs

          RESPONSE: I have read the FEPAC Guidelines and the TWGED guidelines. Have
          you noticed who is being accredited and who is not? Accreditation seems to
          come rather quickly for some. I look at some of the schools that have been
          accredited by FEPAC and wonder how it is even possible. If you are not
          requiring that forensic science be taught by practicing or experienced
          forensic scientists, and if you are allowing police officers and district
          attorneys to teach forensic science courses, then you shouldn't be allowed
          to call it a forensic science degree. Forensic science curricula should
          teach in a manner consistent with the reality that there are two sides to
          the courtroom - not in a manner that creates division in favor of government
          labs in opposition to a well informed defense. Moreover, TWGED falls very
          far short of requiring a hard science degree for forensic scientists. In
          fact it goes to great lengths to accommodate non science practitioners and
          provide them coverage. As long as it does this, it is less valuable than
          toilet paper to the development of science in forensic science.
          see: http://www.aafs.org/pdf/NIJReport.pdf

          REPLY:
          Which part of this (http://www.aafs.org/pdf/NIJReport.pdf)says no science
          required?

          What does the working group recommend?
          A solid educational background in natural sciences with extensive laboratory
          coursework establishes the groundwork for a career in forensic science.
          Strong personal attributes, professional skills, certification, and
          professional involvement also are critical to the professional growth of
          prospective and practicing forensic scientists.
          Undergraduate degree. Undergraduate forensic science degree programs are
          expected to deliver a strong and credible science foundation that emphasizes
          the scientific method and problem-solving skills. Exemplary programs would
          be interdisciplinary and include substantial laboratory work, as most
          employment opportunities occur in laboratory settings. Natural sciences
          should dominate undergraduate curriculums and be supported by coursework in
          specialized, forensic, and laboratory sciences and other classes that
          complement the student's area of concentration.
          Graduate degree. Graduate programs can move students from theoretical
          concepts to discipline-specific knowledge. Exemplary curriculums can include
          such topics as crime scenes, physical evidence, law/ science interface,
          ethics, and quality assurance
          to complement the student's advanced coursework. Graduate programs should be
          designed with strong laboratory and research components. Access to
          instructional laboratories with research-specific facilities, equipment, and
          instrumentation
          and interaction with forensic laboratories are required to enhance the
          graduate-level experience. By emphasizing written and oral communication and
          report writing, graduate programs can prepare students for future courtroom
          testimony.
          Forensic scientists have an ongoing obligation to advance their field
          through training and continuing professional development. Training programs
          should include written components (e.g., instructor qualifications, student
          requirements, performance goals, and competency testing), and their content
          should contain several core and discipline-specific elements guided by
          peer-defined standards.
          Continuing professional development-mechanisms through which forensic
          scientists remain current or advance their expertise-should be structured,
          measurable, and documented.


          2. Develop and enforce a universal set of forensic practice standards (to
          include adherence to the analytical logic and the scientific method when
          interpreting evidence).

          ANSWER IN PROGRESS: See SWGMAT, DAB, SWGDRUG, TWGDAM, ASTM, etc along with
          Certification from ABC, AFTE, ASQDE, IAI

          RESPONSE: I've read these as well, and while SOME of these give lip service
          to the scientific method, most do not have the first clue what it is let
          alone require the testing and skepticism that science mandates. Especially
          the IAI and AFTE. Certifications in these are all but worthless from what
          can be seen of examiner ignorance in court - save the ABC which seems to
          have a better grip on its horses.

          REPLY - As an active member of the ABC, thanks for acknowledging we are
          making progress.

          3. Develop and enforce a universal code of conduct, the failure to adhere to
          should result in a lifelong ban from court testimony.

          ANSWER - We don't act as any gate keeper to the Judiciary and have no power
          to direct what will and will not be allowed in court. I've had a Judge rule
          that I can't testify to cross sectional information providing discrimination
          between fibers because "it's just my opinion it varies". Unfortunately, I
          was unable to get the prosecutor to ask me any questions to bring out the
          fact cross sectional shapes are actually patented (described in patent law)
          by the fiber producers. Taught me to go to ask a Prosecutor to ask me why I
          look at "X" characteristic in a fiber if a specific issue comes up.

          RESPONSE: Agencies whose employees lie in their CVs or on the stand should
          not have to be told by the court to bar their people from testimony. The
          current habit is to move them around and hide them - or hope nobody brings
          it up.

          4. Separate labs from police departments both physically, financially, and
          organizationally.
          We are public servants. By definition of public servants work for the
          government of the people, providing a commodity for all members of society
          without regard to the fact it can not be done profitably. To my way of
          thinking that is exactly why private crime labs are not the way to go.

          RESPONSE: This response more than oversimplifies a very complex issue, and
          is more than a little naive. Private forensic work can indeed be done
          profitably, and is being done. This is why so many public labs have
          contracts with private labs to handle services they can't offer, or to
          handle overflow. However, separating the lab from the police does not mean
          removing it from government. The government lab should exist under the
          direction and budget of some other division of the state - just not with or
          beneath the police.


          REPLY -
          My point is that Forensic science exams should be available those who cannot
          afford it (and is indeed available in all those cases where crime lab
          provide "negative" results). I'm not impressed with the error rate coming
          from private labs or the contracts (signed by government labs who out source
          exams)calling for additional cases to be worked as a penalty for any errors
          found in the out sourced cases. (If you screw-up, you have to work X more
          cases for us at no charge.) Ideally we'd all be under the court system but
          then, who works cases where on charges have been filed?


          5. Institute mandatory double blind proficiencies and make the results
          public/ discoverable.

          Actually good proficiency test would be a first step. Collaborative testing
          has repeatedly provided test where problems have been uncovered by us poor
          working grunts. ASCLD approves them, not me.

          RESPONSE: Why do we have to wait for ASCLD to tell us how to be scientists?
          That part always confuses the heck out of me. Why are we always needing
          permission? In any case, I agree that good (double blind) proficiency
          testing would be a first step in the right direction. Sadly, ASCLD relies on
          formalistic review and the like. But don't blame them for what you could be
          doing without them.

          REPLY - I'm not waiting for ASCLD to do anything. ASCLD requires that an
          accredited lab use one of their approved PT providers. I agree that good
          validated proficiency tests are needed. The ABC may address this within the
          new certification scheme proposed.


          6. Disallow the use of non-forensic scientists in any interpretive role with
          respect to the physical evidence. They may observe, and testify about
          observations, but the may not interpret ala US v. Green (2005):

          RESPONSE: This is the most important issue of all - interpretation and who
          can/ should do it is where the rubber meets the road. And it was ignored.
          That's a pity.

          Brent
          Brent E. Turvey, MS - Forensic Science
          Forensic Solutions, LLC
          bturvey@...
          http://www.forensic-science.com

          Author of:
          Turvey, B. (2002) Criminal Profiling, 2nd Ed., London: Elsevier Science
          http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/cp/cp_index.html

          Savino J. & Turvey B. (2004) Rape Investigation Handbook, San Diego:
          Elsevier Science
          http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/rih/rih_index.html

          Chisum, W.J. & Turvey B. (2006) Crime Reconstruction, Boston: Elsevier
          Science
          http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.editors/707312/description

          "... the intermixing of science and politics is a bad combination with a bad
          history. We must remember the history, and be certain that what we present
          to the world as knowledge is disinterested and honest."
          - Crichton, M. (2004) State of Fear, New York: Harper-Collins Publisher;
          p.638







          To subscribe send a blank e-mail to:
          forensic-science-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
          To unsubscribe send a blank e-mail to:
          forensic-science-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

          Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/forensic-science
          From the home page you can search the list archives. It also includes links
          to forensic science sites and allows you to modify your account settings.
          Yahoo! Groups Links







          To subscribe send a blank e-mail to:
          forensic-science-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
          To unsubscribe send a blank e-mail to:
          forensic-science-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

          Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/forensic-science
          From the home page you can search the list archives. It also includes links
          to forensic science sites and allows you to modify your account settings.
          Yahoo! Groups Links







          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Jones, Erika (KSP)
          ... Actually, I just hand the form to who-ever subpoena d me. If it happens to be the defense, then so be it. If it happens to be the prosecution - so be it.
          Message 4 of 20 , Feb 1, 2006
            >>Why not ask some respected individual from the defence to evaluate.<<

            Actually, I just hand the form to who-ever subpoena'd me. If it happens to
            be the defense, then so be it. If it happens to be the prosecution - so be
            it. I agree that it would probably give a fuller picture though.

            Erika M Jones

            Forensic Biologist II -- Western Regional Laboratory

            "You are 87% water; the other 13% keeps you from drowning." - P. E.
            Morris.

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            This communication contains information which is confidential. It is for the
            exclusive use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not the intended
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            or use of this communication or the information therein is strictly
            prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in
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          • Brent Turvey
            Erika; While you are headed in the right direction here - it best for scientists to review the work of scientists. Not lawyers. Certainly not lawyers who need
            Message 5 of 20 , Feb 2, 2006
              Erika;

              While you are headed in the right direction here - it best for scientists to
              review the work of scientists. Not lawyers. Certainly not lawyers who need
              to present and maintain an image of infallibility i.e. prosecutors.

              For a taste of the problem, see this recent expose about trouble in Santa
              Clara County. As an aside, this county is not foreign territory for me. I'm
              working a case there now for the defense, and the prosecutor on that case
              just got arrested for possession. He'll be going to jail.

              Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice
              http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/special_packages/stolenjusti
              ce/

              In any case, three times a year is not enough. It must be every case.
              History shows that analysts tend to rise meet the level of mediocrity that
              is expected of them.

              It's not about trust - it's about accountability.

              If we trusted everyone, there would be no reason to have that whole other
              side of the courtroom. All of science and law is about an inherent
              skepticism and distrust in what we think we know - about understanding that
              other possibilities exist, that they must be explored, and they must be
              eliminated.

              When do we trust any examiner? Never. Never take any forensic scientist at
              their word, but at their work. Competent forensic scientists do their long
              division and are proud to show it.

              Brent
              Brent E. Turvey, MS - Forensic Science
              Forensic Solutions, LLC
              bturvey@...
              http://www.forensic-science.com

              Author of:
              Turvey, B. (2002) Criminal Profiling, 2nd Ed., London: Elsevier Science
              http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/cp/cp_index.html

              Savino J. & Turvey B. (2004) Rape Investigation Handbook, San Diego:
              Elsevier Science
              http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/rih/rih_index.html

              Chisum, W.J. & Turvey B. (2006) Crime Reconstruction, Boston: Elsevier
              Science
              http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.editors/707312/description

              "... the intermixing of science and politics is a bad combination with a bad
              history. We must remember the history, and be certain that what we present
              to the world as knowledge is disinterested and honest."
              - Crichton, M. (2004) State of Fear, New York: Harper-Collins Publisher;
              p.638

              -----Original Message-----
              From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jones, Erika (KSP)
              Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 1:07 PM
              To: 'forensic-science@yahoogroups.com'
              Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...


              >>Yearly evaluations are laughably inadequate. Every line of testimony must
              be read and signed off on by a supervisor. If it hasn't been, how do they
              know that the examiner's in their charge are competently expressing their
              findings and not flip-flopping, fudging, or lying on the stand. I think a
              yearly review, after the damage has been done, is too long for the court to
              wait.<<

              What about my example of my laboratories policy - three evaluations a year -
              one by the prosecutor, one by the regional supervisor, and one by the
              section supervisor? In each instance, the evaluator is in the court-room
              during testimony and fills out an evaluation sheet with set guidelines. So
              all-in-all each analyst is evaluated three times a year on their testimony.
              Is that more adequate or still laughably inadequate?

              At what point though do you trust your analysts? Is there no element of
              scientific integrity left in forensic scientists? For instance, if time
              after time an analyst is lauded as being exceptionally thorough, clearly
              understood, never over-steps boundaries, wouldn't you trust that analyst to
              go longer between evaluations? Is it right, fair, or acceptable to expect
              the worst from forensic scientists? Are we all guilty because some of us
              are? Is there any room for trust (for integrity) in forensic science/the
              justice system?

              I'm really not arguing, but I'm trying to understand. I think blind
              testimony evaluations and proficiency tests should be standard. I just
              haven't come up with a good number per year (actually my thinking is more
              abstract than concrete at this moment).

              Erika M Jones

              Forensic Biologist II -- Western Regional Laboratory
              *The above is not necessarily the view of my agency.*
              "You are 87% water; the other 13% keeps you from drowning." - P. E.
              Morris.

              Confidentiality Statement
              This communication contains information which is confidential. It is for the
              exclusive use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not the intended
              recipient(s) please note that any form of distribution, copying, forwarding
              or use of this communication or the information therein is strictly
              prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in
              error please return it to the sender and then delete the communication and
              destroy any copies.


              To subscribe send a blank e-mail to:
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            • Jones, Erika (KSP)
              Shouldn t the lawyers & court be accountable for checking up on the facts presented in court as well? Wouldn t that be like a system of checks & balances? If
              Message 6 of 20 , Feb 2, 2006
                Shouldn't the lawyers & court be accountable for checking up on the facts
                presented in court as well? Wouldn't that be like a system of checks &
                balances? If the justice system is based on distrust and skepticism, should
                any witness - expert or not - be trusted at face value? Why is it that only
                prosecutors have to present an image of infallibility. Shouldn't all
                officers of the court be equally infallible?

                I'm a forensic scientist who does her long division & if asked to show it -
                I willingly would. Its the court's job to ask for the work IMHO! I have it
                thoroughly documented & ready for presentation.

                Erika M Jones

                Forensic Biologist II -- Western Regional Laboratory
                * The above is not necessarily the opinions of my agency.
                "You are 87% water; the other 13% keeps you from drowning." - P. E.
                Morris.

                Confidentiality Statement
                This communication contains information which is confidential. It is for the
                exclusive use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not the intended
                recipient(s) please note that any form of distribution, copying, forwarding
                or use of this communication or the information therein is strictly
                prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in
                error please return it to the sender and then delete the communication and
                destroy any copies.
              • Brent Turvey
                Erika; First - good you are doing the long division and happy to show it. Second - prosecutors have to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and that s
                Message 7 of 20 , Feb 2, 2006
                  Erika;

                  First - good you are doing the long division and happy to show it.

                  Second - prosecutors have to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and
                  that's why they must maintain an image of infallibility - their case theory
                  must be infallible. A fallible image and theory leaves room for reasonable
                  doubt which can translate into a not guilty verdict. The defense does not
                  have to be infallible or have an infallible theory. It must only present
                  doubt. These are the legal issues.

                  The scientific issue is that forensic science must be the best science every
                  time, or it has no business being presented as evidence for or against
                  anyone in a court of law. Period.

                  And no witnesses should ever be taken at face value, especially with 1/3 of
                  the documented forensic fraud coming from "experts" who give false
                  credentials on their resume (85% of those working for the state). That's why
                  expert witnesses must be voire-dired; because their credentials must be
                  established and cannot be assumed. When credentials are assumed - that's
                  when the trouble starts. Like police officers who testify as though they are
                  forensic scientists (which can and does happen - a practice that needs to
                  end).

                  Brent
                  Brent E. Turvey, MS - Forensic Science
                  Forensic Solutions, LLC
                  bturvey@...
                  http://www.forensic-science.com

                  Author of:
                  Turvey, B. (2002) Criminal Profiling, 2nd Ed., London: Elsevier Science
                  http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/cp/cp_index.html

                  Savino J. & Turvey B. (2004) Rape Investigation Handbook, San Diego:
                  Elsevier Science
                  http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/rih/rih_index.html

                  Chisum, W.J. & Turvey B. (2006) Crime Reconstruction, Boston: Elsevier
                  Science
                  http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.editors/707312/description

                  "... the intermixing of science and politics is a bad combination with a bad
                  history. We must remember the history, and be certain that what we present
                  to the world as knowledge is disinterested and honest."
                  - Crichton, M. (2004) State of Fear, New York: Harper-Collins Publisher;
                  p.638

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                  [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jones, Erika (KSP)
                  Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 9:52 AM
                  To: 'forensic-science@yahoogroups.com'
                  Subject: [forensic-science] RE: These are ideals...


                  Shouldn't the lawyers & court be accountable for checking up on the facts
                  presented in court as well? Wouldn't that be like a system of checks &
                  balances? If the justice system is based on distrust and skepticism, should
                  any witness - expert or not - be trusted at face value? Why is it that only
                  prosecutors have to present an image of infallibility. Shouldn't all
                  officers of the court be equally infallible?

                  I'm a forensic scientist who does her long division & if asked to show it -
                  I willingly would. Its the court's job to ask for the work IMHO! I have it
                  thoroughly documented & ready for presentation.

                  Erika M Jones

                  Forensic Biologist II -- Western Regional Laboratory
                  * The above is not necessarily the opinions of my agency.
                  "You are 87% water; the other 13% keeps you from drowning." - P. E.
                  Morris.

                  Confidentiality Statement
                  This communication contains information which is confidential. It is for the
                  exclusive use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not the intended
                  recipient(s) please note that any form of distribution, copying, forwarding
                  or use of this communication or the information therein is strictly
                  prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in
                  error please return it to the sender and then delete the communication and
                  destroy any copies.


                  To subscribe send a blank e-mail to:
                  forensic-science-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  To unsubscribe send a blank e-mail to:
                  forensic-science-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                  Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/forensic-science
                  >From the home page you can search the list archives. It also includes
                  links to forensic science sites and allows you to modify your account
                  settings.
                  Yahoo! Groups Links
                • Brent Turvey
                  Lynn; No science degree required. Science background is too fudgy. There needs to be a extensively detailed science requirement. So many hours of chemistry. So
                  Message 8 of 20 , Feb 2, 2006
                    Lynn;

                    No science degree required. Science background is too fudgy. There needs to
                    be a extensively detailed science requirement. So many hours of chemistry.
                    So many hours of biology. And at least a degree in a hard science or
                    forensic science to show a commitment to completion of the track.

                    In any case, at least now I know why you prefer a "science background" and
                    not a science degree, and why you left #6 alone, which is perhaps the most
                    important one below. You don't have a science degree. This would tend to
                    exclude you.

                    Brent


                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                    [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Henson, Lynn
                    Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 3:50 AM
                    To: 'forensic-science@yahoogroups.com'
                    Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...


                    See REPLY
                    Lynn
                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                    [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Brent Turvey
                    Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 8:53 PM
                    To: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...

                    Erika & Lynn;

                    In response to the dinosaur....

                    See below labeled RESPONSE.

                    Brent

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                    [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jones, Erika (KSP)
                    Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 7:11 AM
                    To: 'forensic-science@yahoogroups.com'
                    Subject: Re: [forensic-science] These are ideals...


                    Erika, Just had to give you my dinosaur perspective on this...

                    Lynn Henson
                    US Army Crime Laboratory
                    Trace Evidence Division
                    4553 N 2ND Street
                    Forest Park, GA 30297-5122
                    404-469-7265 DSN 797-7265
                    Lynn.Henson@...

                    Brent,

                    I think the reason you have to keep reiterating is that you have the 'What's
                    but not the 'How's. How do you get an organization to stand behind what you
                    propose? How do you get an organization to make these requirements? How do
                    you get the back-woods country courtrooms to require these things? Many
                    more 'How's need to be answered...

                    I firmly believe that what you propose is where we should be heading. What
                    I don't know is how to get there.
                    EriKa et al....
                    >>1. Develop an educational baseline requirement of a science degree and
                    education in forensic science by practicing forensic scientists.

                    ANSWER IN PROGRESS: See FEPAC Guidelines and accreditation of university
                    forensic science programs

                    RESPONSE: I have read the FEPAC Guidelines and the TWGED guidelines. Have
                    you noticed who is being accredited and who is not? Accreditation seems to
                    come rather quickly for some. I look at some of the schools that have been
                    accredited by FEPAC and wonder how it is even possible. If you are not
                    requiring that forensic science be taught by practicing or experienced
                    forensic scientists, and if you are allowing police officers and district
                    attorneys to teach forensic science courses, then you shouldn't be allowed
                    to call it a forensic science degree. Forensic science curricula should
                    teach in a manner consistent with the reality that there are two sides to
                    the courtroom - not in a manner that creates division in favor of government
                    labs in opposition to a well informed defense. Moreover, TWGED falls very
                    far short of requiring a hard science degree for forensic scientists. In
                    fact it goes to great lengths to accommodate non science practitioners and
                    provide them coverage. As long as it does this, it is less valuable than
                    toilet paper to the development of science in forensic science.
                    see: http://www.aafs.org/pdf/NIJReport.pdf

                    REPLY:
                    Which part of this (http://www.aafs.org/pdf/NIJReport.pdf)says no science
                    required?

                    What does the working group recommend?
                    A solid educational background in natural sciences with extensive laboratory
                    coursework establishes the groundwork for a career in forensic science.
                    Strong personal attributes, professional skills, certification, and
                    professional involvement also are critical to the professional growth of
                    prospective and practicing forensic scientists.
                    Undergraduate degree. Undergraduate forensic science degree programs are
                    expected to deliver a strong and credible science foundation that emphasizes
                    the scientific method and problem-solving skills. Exemplary programs would
                    be interdisciplinary and include substantial laboratory work, as most
                    employment opportunities occur in laboratory settings. Natural sciences
                    should dominate undergraduate curriculums and be supported by coursework in
                    specialized, forensic, and laboratory sciences and other classes that
                    complement the student's area of concentration.
                    Graduate degree. Graduate programs can move students from theoretical
                    concepts to discipline-specific knowledge. Exemplary curriculums can include
                    such topics as crime scenes, physical evidence, law/ science interface,
                    ethics, and quality assurance
                    to complement the student's advanced coursework. Graduate programs should be
                    designed with strong laboratory and research components. Access to
                    instructional laboratories with research-specific facilities, equipment, and
                    instrumentation
                    and interaction with forensic laboratories are required to enhance the
                    graduate-level experience. By emphasizing written and oral communication and
                    report writing, graduate programs can prepare students for future courtroom
                    testimony.
                    Forensic scientists have an ongoing obligation to advance their field
                    through training and continuing professional development. Training programs
                    should include written components (e.g., instructor qualifications, student
                    requirements, performance goals, and competency testing), and their content
                    should contain several core and discipline-specific elements guided by
                    peer-defined standards.
                    Continuing professional development-mechanisms through which forensic
                    scientists remain current or advance their expertise-should be structured,
                    measurable, and documented.


                    2. Develop and enforce a universal set of forensic practice standards (to
                    include adherence to the analytical logic and the scientific method when
                    interpreting evidence).

                    ANSWER IN PROGRESS: See SWGMAT, DAB, SWGDRUG, TWGDAM, ASTM, etc along with
                    Certification from ABC, AFTE, ASQDE, IAI

                    RESPONSE: I've read these as well, and while SOME of these give lip service
                    to the scientific method, most do not have the first clue what it is let
                    alone require the testing and skepticism that science mandates. Especially
                    the IAI and AFTE. Certifications in these are all but worthless from what
                    can be seen of examiner ignorance in court - save the ABC which seems to
                    have a better grip on its horses.

                    REPLY - As an active member of the ABC, thanks for acknowledging we are
                    making progress.

                    3. Develop and enforce a universal code of conduct, the failure to adhere to
                    should result in a lifelong ban from court testimony.

                    ANSWER - We don't act as any gate keeper to the Judiciary and have no power
                    to direct what will and will not be allowed in court. I've had a Judge rule
                    that I can't testify to cross sectional information providing discrimination
                    between fibers because "it's just my opinion it varies". Unfortunately, I
                    was unable to get the prosecutor to ask me any questions to bring out the
                    fact cross sectional shapes are actually patented (described in patent law)
                    by the fiber producers. Taught me to go to ask a Prosecutor to ask me why I
                    look at "X" characteristic in a fiber if a specific issue comes up.

                    RESPONSE: Agencies whose employees lie in their CVs or on the stand should
                    not have to be told by the court to bar their people from testimony. The
                    current habit is to move them around and hide them - or hope nobody brings
                    it up.

                    4. Separate labs from police departments both physically, financially, and
                    organizationally.
                    We are public servants. By definition of public servants work for the
                    government of the people, providing a commodity for all members of society
                    without regard to the fact it can not be done profitably. To my way of
                    thinking that is exactly why private crime labs are not the way to go.

                    RESPONSE: This response more than oversimplifies a very complex issue, and
                    is more than a little naive. Private forensic work can indeed be done
                    profitably, and is being done. This is why so many public labs have
                    contracts with private labs to handle services they can't offer, or to
                    handle overflow. However, separating the lab from the police does not mean
                    removing it from government. The government lab should exist under the
                    direction and budget of some other division of the state - just not with or
                    beneath the police.


                    REPLY -
                    My point is that Forensic science exams should be available those who cannot
                    afford it (and is indeed available in all those cases where crime lab
                    provide "negative" results). I'm not impressed with the error rate coming
                    from private labs or the contracts (signed by government labs who out source
                    exams)calling for additional cases to be worked as a penalty for any errors
                    found in the out sourced cases. (If you screw-up, you have to work X more
                    cases for us at no charge.) Ideally we'd all be under the court system but
                    then, who works cases where on charges have been filed?


                    5. Institute mandatory double blind proficiencies and make the results
                    public/ discoverable.

                    Actually good proficiency test would be a first step. Collaborative testing
                    has repeatedly provided test where problems have been uncovered by us poor
                    working grunts. ASCLD approves them, not me.

                    RESPONSE: Why do we have to wait for ASCLD to tell us how to be scientists?
                    That part always confuses the heck out of me. Why are we always needing
                    permission? In any case, I agree that good (double blind) proficiency
                    testing would be a first step in the right direction. Sadly, ASCLD relies on
                    formalistic review and the like. But don't blame them for what you could be
                    doing without them.


                    6. Disallow the use of non-forensic scientists in any interpretive role with
                    respect to the physical evidence. They may observe, and testify about
                    observations, but the may not interpret ala US v. Green (2005):

                    RESPONSE: This is the most important issue of all - interpretation and who
                    can/ should do it is where the rubber meets the road. And it was ignored.
                    That's a pity.

                    Brent
                    Brent E. Turvey, MS - Forensic Science
                    Forensic Solutions, LLC
                    bturvey@...
                    http://www.forensic-science.com

                    Author of:
                    Turvey, B. (2002) Criminal Profiling, 2nd Ed., London: Elsevier Science
                    http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/cp/cp_index.html

                    Savino J. & Turvey B. (2004) Rape Investigation Handbook, San Diego:
                    Elsevier Science
                    http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/rih/rih_index.html

                    Chisum, W.J. & Turvey B. (2006) Crime Reconstruction, Boston: Elsevier
                    Science
                    http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.editors/707312/description

                    "... the intermixing of science and politics is a bad combination with a bad
                    history. We must remember the history, and be certain that what we present
                    to the world as knowledge is disinterested and honest."
                    - Crichton, M. (2004) State of Fear, New York: Harper-Collins Publisher;
                    p.638
                  • Henson, Lynn
                    Yes my degree is in Criminology as I have testified may times and as I report to both ASCLD and the ABC. Both of those organization require degrees in
                    Message 9 of 20 , Feb 2, 2006
                      Yes my degree is in Criminology as I have testified may times and as I
                      report to both ASCLD and the ABC. Both of those organization require
                      degrees in science. They have reviewed my transcripts and they have
                      determined I meet all the requirements for course work in a chemistry
                      degree. My problem is that I can't handle the foreign language requirement
                      - not the science. Nice try with a red herring.

                      If you were to read the appendixes for each SWGMAT guideline you would see
                      each recommends a different combination of science areas "tailored" to the
                      types of examinations done within each specialty area.

                      As I said, I have no problem getting before a jury and explaining why I did
                      what I did and what it means.
                      Have good weekend.
                      Lynn

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                      [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Brent Turvey
                      Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 2:16 PM
                      To: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...

                      Lynn;

                      No science degree required. Science background is too fudgy. There needs to
                      be a extensively detailed science requirement. So many hours of chemistry.
                      So many hours of biology. And at least a degree in a hard science or
                      forensic science to show a commitment to completion of the track.

                      In any case, at least now I know why you prefer a "science background" and
                      not a science degree, and why you left #6 alone, which is perhaps the most
                      important one below. You don't have a science degree. This would tend to
                      exclude you.

                      Brent


                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                      [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Henson, Lynn
                      Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 3:50 AM
                      To: 'forensic-science@yahoogroups.com'
                      Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...


                      See REPLY
                      Lynn
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                      [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Brent Turvey
                      Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 8:53 PM
                      To: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...

                      Erika & Lynn;

                      In response to the dinosaur....

                      See below labeled RESPONSE.

                      Brent

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                      [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jones, Erika (KSP)
                      Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 7:11 AM
                      To: 'forensic-science@yahoogroups.com'
                      Subject: Re: [forensic-science] These are ideals...


                      Erika, Just had to give you my dinosaur perspective on this...

                      Lynn Henson
                      US Army Crime Laboratory
                      Trace Evidence Division
                      4553 N 2ND Street
                      Forest Park, GA 30297-5122
                      404-469-7265 DSN 797-7265
                      Lynn.Henson@...

                      Brent,

                      I think the reason you have to keep reiterating is that you have the 'What's
                      but not the 'How's. How do you get an organization to stand behind what you
                      propose? How do you get an organization to make these requirements? How do
                      you get the back-woods country courtrooms to require these things? Many
                      more 'How's need to be answered...

                      I firmly believe that what you propose is where we should be heading. What
                      I don't know is how to get there.
                      EriKa et al....
                      >>1. Develop an educational baseline requirement of a science degree and
                      education in forensic science by practicing forensic scientists.

                      ANSWER IN PROGRESS: See FEPAC Guidelines and accreditation of university
                      forensic science programs

                      RESPONSE: I have read the FEPAC Guidelines and the TWGED guidelines. Have
                      you noticed who is being accredited and who is not? Accreditation seems to
                      come rather quickly for some. I look at some of the schools that have been
                      accredited by FEPAC and wonder how it is even possible. If you are not
                      requiring that forensic science be taught by practicing or experienced
                      forensic scientists, and if you are allowing police officers and district
                      attorneys to teach forensic science courses, then you shouldn't be allowed
                      to call it a forensic science degree. Forensic science curricula should
                      teach in a manner consistent with the reality that there are two sides to
                      the courtroom - not in a manner that creates division in favor of government
                      labs in opposition to a well informed defense. Moreover, TWGED falls very
                      far short of requiring a hard science degree for forensic scientists. In
                      fact it goes to great lengths to accommodate non science practitioners and
                      provide them coverage. As long as it does this, it is less valuable than
                      toilet paper to the development of science in forensic science.
                      see: http://www.aafs.org/pdf/NIJReport.pdf

                      REPLY:
                      Which part of this (http://www.aafs.org/pdf/NIJReport.pdf)says no science
                      required?

                      What does the working group recommend?
                      A solid educational background in natural sciences with extensive laboratory
                      coursework establishes the groundwork for a career in forensic science.
                      Strong personal attributes, professional skills, certification, and
                      professional involvement also are critical to the professional growth of
                      prospective and practicing forensic scientists.
                      Undergraduate degree. Undergraduate forensic science degree programs are
                      expected to deliver a strong and credible science foundation that emphasizes
                      the scientific method and problem-solving skills. Exemplary programs would
                      be interdisciplinary and include substantial laboratory work, as most
                      employment opportunities occur in laboratory settings. Natural sciences
                      should dominate undergraduate curriculums and be supported by coursework in
                      specialized, forensic, and laboratory sciences and other classes that
                      complement the student's area of concentration.
                      Graduate degree. Graduate programs can move students from theoretical
                      concepts to discipline-specific knowledge. Exemplary curriculums can include
                      such topics as crime scenes, physical evidence, law/ science interface,
                      ethics, and quality assurance
                      to complement the student's advanced coursework. Graduate programs should be
                      designed with strong laboratory and research components. Access to
                      instructional laboratories with research-specific facilities, equipment, and
                      instrumentation
                      and interaction with forensic laboratories are required to enhance the
                      graduate-level experience. By emphasizing written and oral communication and
                      report writing, graduate programs can prepare students for future courtroom
                      testimony.
                      Forensic scientists have an ongoing obligation to advance their field
                      through training and continuing professional development. Training programs
                      should include written components (e.g., instructor qualifications, student
                      requirements, performance goals, and competency testing), and their content
                      should contain several core and discipline-specific elements guided by
                      peer-defined standards.
                      Continuing professional development-mechanisms through which forensic
                      scientists remain current or advance their expertise-should be structured,
                      measurable, and documented.


                      2. Develop and enforce a universal set of forensic practice standards (to
                      include adherence to the analytical logic and the scientific method when
                      interpreting evidence).

                      ANSWER IN PROGRESS: See SWGMAT, DAB, SWGDRUG, TWGDAM, ASTM, etc along with
                      Certification from ABC, AFTE, ASQDE, IAI

                      RESPONSE: I've read these as well, and while SOME of these give lip service
                      to the scientific method, most do not have the first clue what it is let
                      alone require the testing and skepticism that science mandates. Especially
                      the IAI and AFTE. Certifications in these are all but worthless from what
                      can be seen of examiner ignorance in court - save the ABC which seems to
                      have a better grip on its horses.

                      REPLY - As an active member of the ABC, thanks for acknowledging we are
                      making progress.

                      3. Develop and enforce a universal code of conduct, the failure to adhere to
                      should result in a lifelong ban from court testimony.

                      ANSWER - We don't act as any gate keeper to the Judiciary and have no power
                      to direct what will and will not be allowed in court. I've had a Judge rule
                      that I can't testify to cross sectional information providing discrimination
                      between fibers because "it's just my opinion it varies". Unfortunately, I
                      was unable to get the prosecutor to ask me any questions to bring out the
                      fact cross sectional shapes are actually patented (described in patent law)
                      by the fiber producers. Taught me to go to ask a Prosecutor to ask me why I
                      look at "X" characteristic in a fiber if a specific issue comes up.

                      RESPONSE: Agencies whose employees lie in their CVs or on the stand should
                      not have to be told by the court to bar their people from testimony. The
                      current habit is to move them around and hide them - or hope nobody brings
                      it up.

                      4. Separate labs from police departments both physically, financially, and
                      organizationally.
                      We are public servants. By definition of public servants work for the
                      government of the people, providing a commodity for all members of society
                      without regard to the fact it can not be done profitably. To my way of
                      thinking that is exactly why private crime labs are not the way to go.

                      RESPONSE: This response more than oversimplifies a very complex issue, and
                      is more than a little naive. Private forensic work can indeed be done
                      profitably, and is being done. This is why so many public labs have
                      contracts with private labs to handle services they can't offer, or to
                      handle overflow. However, separating the lab from the police does not mean
                      removing it from government. The government lab should exist under the
                      direction and budget of some other division of the state - just not with or
                      beneath the police.


                      REPLY -
                      My point is that Forensic science exams should be available those who cannot
                      afford it (and is indeed available in all those cases where crime lab
                      provide "negative" results). I'm not impressed with the error rate coming
                      from private labs or the contracts (signed by government labs who out source
                      exams)calling for additional cases to be worked as a penalty for any errors
                      found in the out sourced cases. (If you screw-up, you have to work X more
                      cases for us at no charge.) Ideally we'd all be under the court system but
                      then, who works cases where on charges have been filed?


                      5. Institute mandatory double blind proficiencies and make the results
                      public/ discoverable.

                      Actually good proficiency test would be a first step. Collaborative testing
                      has repeatedly provided test where problems have been uncovered by us poor
                      working grunts. ASCLD approves them, not me.

                      RESPONSE: Why do we have to wait for ASCLD to tell us how to be scientists?
                      That part always confuses the heck out of me. Why are we always needing
                      permission? In any case, I agree that good (double blind) proficiency
                      testing would be a first step in the right direction. Sadly, ASCLD relies on
                      formalistic review and the like. But don't blame them for what you could be
                      doing without them.


                      6. Disallow the use of non-forensic scientists in any interpretive role with
                      respect to the physical evidence. They may observe, and testify about
                      observations, but the may not interpret ala US v. Green (2005):

                      RESPONSE: This is the most important issue of all - interpretation and who
                      can/ should do it is where the rubber meets the road. And it was ignored.
                      That's a pity.

                      Brent
                      Brent E. Turvey, MS - Forensic Science
                      Forensic Solutions, LLC
                      bturvey@...
                      http://www.forensic-science.com

                      Author of:
                      Turvey, B. (2002) Criminal Profiling, 2nd Ed., London: Elsevier Science
                      http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/cp/cp_index.html

                      Savino J. & Turvey B. (2004) Rape Investigation Handbook, San Diego:
                      Elsevier Science
                      http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/rih/rih_index.html

                      Chisum, W.J. & Turvey B. (2006) Crime Reconstruction, Boston: Elsevier
                      Science
                      http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.editors/707312/description

                      "... the intermixing of science and politics is a bad combination with a bad
                      history. We must remember the history, and be certain that what we present
                      to the world as knowledge is disinterested and honest."
                      - Crichton, M. (2004) State of Fear, New York: Harper-Collins Publisher;
                      p.638







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                    • Brent Turvey
                      Lynn; That both organizations require a degree in a science and still allow those in who don t meet that requirement is not a good thing. As for a foreign
                      Message 10 of 20 , Feb 2, 2006
                        Lynn;

                        That both organizations require a degree in a science and still allow those
                        in who don't meet that requirement is not a good thing.

                        As for a foreign language requirement - this a feature of a BA degree, not a
                        BS degree. In any case, that's a part of this story that really says
                        something.

                        An inflexible science degree requirement is not a red herring. It's a
                        minimum threshold showing of scientific exposure and credentialing. I think
                        it is all too easy for those without degrees in the sciences to explain how
                        unnecessary it is to have one to work as a forensic scientist. Accepting
                        this argument diminishes the forensic science community and its credibility.

                        As for SWGMAT guidelines, again, the scientific method is absent and the
                        work described is without reference to guidelines for interpreting. These
                        are technician guidelines, not forensic scientist guidelines.

                        The education/ training requirements for Trace Evidence Recovery are for a
                        technician; the paint analysis and comparison guidelines focus on
                        instrumentation and not interpretation of the results (basically it suggests
                        that we are point counting again, with reference to "striae"); and the fiber
                        guidelines just give it a sentence or two

                        "Similarity or dissimilarity in the IR spectra can be noted when making a
                        fiber comparison." But the real issue of source and interpreting evidence in
                        context is pathologically ignored.

                        Again, the issues of proper education and interpretation guidelines are not
                        red herring. They are the whole reason we get to testify in court. I'm sorry
                        you view them so casually. On this we must disagree.

                        Brent
                        Brent E. Turvey, MS - Forensic Science
                        Forensic Solutions, LLC
                        bturvey@...
                        http://www.forensic-science.com

                        Author of:
                        Turvey, B. (2002) Criminal Profiling, 2nd Ed., London: Elsevier Science
                        http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/cp/cp_index.html

                        Savino J. & Turvey B. (2004) Rape Investigation Handbook, San Diego:
                        Elsevier Science
                        http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/rih/rih_index.html

                        Chisum, W.J. & Turvey B. (2006) Crime Reconstruction, Boston: Elsevier
                        Science
                        http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.editors/707312/description

                        "... the intermixing of science and politics is a bad combination with a bad
                        history. We must remember the history, and be certain that what we present
                        to the world as knowledge is disinterested and honest."
                        - Crichton, M. (2004) State of Fear, New York: Harper-Collins Publisher;
                        p.638




                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                        [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Henson, Lynn
                        Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 10:35 AM
                        To: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...


                        Yes my degree is in Criminology as I have testified may times and as I
                        report to both ASCLD and the ABC. Both of those organization require
                        degrees in science. They have reviewed my transcripts and they have
                        determined I meet all the requirements for course work in a chemistry
                        degree. My problem is that I can't handle the foreign language requirement
                        - not the science. Nice try with a red herring.

                        If you were to read the appendixes for each SWGMAT guideline you would see
                        each recommends a different combination of science areas "tailored" to the
                        types of examinations done within each specialty area.

                        As I said, I have no problem getting before a jury and explaining why I did
                        what I did and what it means.
                        Have good weekend.
                        Lynn

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                        [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Brent Turvey
                        Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 2:16 PM
                        To: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...

                        Lynn;

                        No science degree required. Science background is too fudgy. There needs to
                        be a extensively detailed science requirement. So many hours of chemistry.
                        So many hours of biology. And at least a degree in a hard science or
                        forensic science to show a commitment to completion of the track.

                        In any case, at least now I know why you prefer a "science background" and
                        not a science degree, and why you left #6 alone, which is perhaps the most
                        important one below. You don't have a science degree. This would tend to
                        exclude you.

                        Brent


                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                        [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Henson, Lynn
                        Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 3:50 AM
                        To: 'forensic-science@yahoogroups.com'
                        Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...


                        See REPLY
                        Lynn
                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                        [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Brent Turvey
                        Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 8:53 PM
                        To: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: RE: [forensic-science] These are ideals...

                        Erika & Lynn;

                        In response to the dinosaur....

                        See below labeled RESPONSE.

                        Brent

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
                        [mailto:forensic-science@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jones, Erika (KSP)
                        Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 7:11 AM
                        To: 'forensic-science@yahoogroups.com'
                        Subject: Re: [forensic-science] These are ideals...


                        Erika, Just had to give you my dinosaur perspective on this...

                        Lynn Henson
                        US Army Crime Laboratory
                        Trace Evidence Division
                        4553 N 2ND Street
                        Forest Park, GA 30297-5122
                        404-469-7265 DSN 797-7265
                        Lynn.Henson@...

                        Brent,

                        I think the reason you have to keep reiterating is that you have the 'What's
                        but not the 'How's. How do you get an organization to stand behind what you
                        propose? How do you get an organization to make these requirements? How do
                        you get the back-woods country courtrooms to require these things? Many
                        more 'How's need to be answered...

                        I firmly believe that what you propose is where we should be heading. What
                        I don't know is how to get there.
                        EriKa et al....
                        >>1. Develop an educational baseline requirement of a science degree and
                        education in forensic science by practicing forensic scientists.

                        ANSWER IN PROGRESS: See FEPAC Guidelines and accreditation of university
                        forensic science programs

                        RESPONSE: I have read the FEPAC Guidelines and the TWGED guidelines. Have
                        you noticed who is being accredited and who is not? Accreditation seems to
                        come rather quickly for some. I look at some of the schools that have been
                        accredited by FEPAC and wonder how it is even possible. If you are not
                        requiring that forensic science be taught by practicing or experienced
                        forensic scientists, and if you are allowing police officers and district
                        attorneys to teach forensic science courses, then you shouldn't be allowed
                        to call it a forensic science degree. Forensic science curricula should
                        teach in a manner consistent with the reality that there are two sides to
                        the courtroom - not in a manner that creates division in favor of government
                        labs in opposition to a well informed defense. Moreover, TWGED falls very
                        far short of requiring a hard science degree for forensic scientists. In
                        fact it goes to great lengths to accommodate non science practitioners and
                        provide them coverage. As long as it does this, it is less valuable than
                        toilet paper to the development of science in forensic science.
                        see: http://www.aafs.org/pdf/NIJReport.pdf

                        REPLY:
                        Which part of this (http://www.aafs.org/pdf/NIJReport.pdf)says no science
                        required?

                        What does the working group recommend?
                        A solid educational background in natural sciences with extensive laboratory
                        coursework establishes the groundwork for a career in forensic science.
                        Strong personal attributes, professional skills, certification, and
                        professional involvement also are critical to the professional growth of
                        prospective and practicing forensic scientists.
                        Undergraduate degree. Undergraduate forensic science degree programs are
                        expected to deliver a strong and credible science foundation that emphasizes
                        the scientific method and problem-solving skills. Exemplary programs would
                        be interdisciplinary and include substantial laboratory work, as most
                        employment opportunities occur in laboratory settings. Natural sciences
                        should dominate undergraduate curriculums and be supported by coursework in
                        specialized, forensic, and laboratory sciences and other classes that
                        complement the student's area of concentration.
                        Graduate degree. Graduate programs can move students from theoretical
                        concepts to discipline-specific knowledge. Exemplary curriculums can include
                        such topics as crime scenes, physical evidence, law/ science interface,
                        ethics, and quality assurance
                        to complement the student's advanced coursework. Graduate programs should be
                        designed with strong laboratory and research components. Access to
                        instructional laboratories with research-specific facilities, equipment, and
                        instrumentation
                        and interaction with forensic laboratories are required to enhance the
                        graduate-level experience. By emphasizing written and oral communication and
                        report writing, graduate programs can prepare students for future courtroom
                        testimony.
                        Forensic scientists have an ongoing obligation to advance their field
                        through training and continuing professional development. Training programs
                        should include written components (e.g., instructor qualifications, student
                        requirements, performance goals, and competency testing), and their content
                        should contain several core and discipline-specific elements guided by
                        peer-defined standards.
                        Continuing professional development-mechanisms through which forensic
                        scientists remain current or advance their expertise-should be structured,
                        measurable, and documented.


                        2. Develop and enforce a universal set of forensic practice standards (to
                        include adherence to the analytical logic and the scientific method when
                        interpreting evidence).

                        ANSWER IN PROGRESS: See SWGMAT, DAB, SWGDRUG, TWGDAM, ASTM, etc along with
                        Certification from ABC, AFTE, ASQDE, IAI

                        RESPONSE: I've read these as well, and while SOME of these give lip service
                        to the scientific method, most do not have the first clue what it is let
                        alone require the testing and skepticism that science mandates. Especially
                        the IAI and AFTE. Certifications in these are all but worthless from what
                        can be seen of examiner ignorance in court - save the ABC which seems to
                        have a better grip on its horses.

                        REPLY - As an active member of the ABC, thanks for acknowledging we are
                        making progress.

                        3. Develop and enforce a universal code of conduct, the failure to adhere to
                        should result in a lifelong ban from court testimony.

                        ANSWER - We don't act as any gate keeper to the Judiciary and have no power
                        to direct what will and will not be allowed in court. I've had a Judge rule
                        that I can't testify to cross sectional information providing discrimination
                        between fibers because "it's just my opinion it varies". Unfortunately, I
                        was unable to get the prosecutor to ask me any questions to bring out the
                        fact cross sectional shapes are actually patented (described in patent law)
                        by the fiber producers. Taught me to go to ask a Prosecutor to ask me why I
                        look at "X" characteristic in a fiber if a specific issue comes up.

                        RESPONSE: Agencies whose employees lie in their CVs or on the stand should
                        not have to be told by the court to bar their people from testimony. The
                        current habit is to move them around and hide them - or hope nobody brings
                        it up.

                        4. Separate labs from police departments both physically, financially, and
                        organizationally.
                        We are public servants. By definition of public servants work for the
                        government of the people, providing a commodity for all members of society
                        without regard to the fact it can not be done profitably. To my way of
                        thinking that is exactly why private crime labs are not the way to go.

                        RESPONSE: This response more than oversimplifies a very complex issue, and
                        is more than a little naive. Private forensic work can indeed be done
                        profitably, and is being done. This is why so many public labs have
                        contracts with private labs to handle services they can't offer, or to
                        handle overflow. However, separating the lab from the police does not mean
                        removing it from government. The government lab should exist under the
                        direction and budget of some other division of the state - just not with or
                        beneath the police.


                        REPLY -
                        My point is that Forensic science exams should be available those who cannot
                        afford it (and is indeed available in all those cases where crime lab
                        provide "negative" results). I'm not impressed with the error rate coming
                        from private labs or the contracts (signed by government labs who out source
                        exams)calling for additional cases to be worked as a penalty for any errors
                        found in the out sourced cases. (If you screw-up, you have to work X more
                        cases for us at no charge.) Ideally we'd all be under the court system but
                        then, who works cases where on charges have been filed?


                        5. Institute mandatory double blind proficiencies and make the results
                        public/ discoverable.

                        Actually good proficiency test would be a first step. Collaborative testing
                        has repeatedly provided test where problems have been uncovered by us poor
                        working grunts. ASCLD approves them, not me.

                        RESPONSE: Why do we have to wait for ASCLD to tell us how to be scientists?
                        That part always confuses the heck out of me. Why are we always needing
                        permission? In any case, I agree that good (double blind) proficiency
                        testing would be a first step in the right direction. Sadly, ASCLD relies on
                        formalistic review and the like. But don't blame them for what you could be
                        doing without them.


                        6. Disallow the use of non-forensic scientists in any interpretive role with
                        respect to the physical evidence. They may observe, and testify about
                        observations, but the may not interpret ala US v. Green (2005):

                        RESPONSE: This is the most important issue of all - interpretation and who
                        can/ should do it is where the rubber meets the road. And it was ignored.
                        That's a pity.

                        Brent
                        Brent E. Turvey, MS - Forensic Science
                        Forensic Solutions, LLC
                        bturvey@...
                        http://www.forensic-science.com

                        Author of:
                        Turvey, B. (2002) Criminal Profiling, 2nd Ed., London: Elsevier Science
                        http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/cp/cp_index.html

                        Savino J. & Turvey B. (2004) Rape Investigation Handbook, San Diego:
                        Elsevier Science
                        http://www.corpus-delicti.com/fs_bookstore/rih/rih_index.html

                        Chisum, W.J. & Turvey B. (2006) Crime Reconstruction, Boston: Elsevier
                        Science
                        http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.editors/707312/description

                        "... the intermixing of science and politics is a bad combination with a bad
                        history. We must remember the history, and be certain that what we present
                        to the world as knowledge is disinterested and honest."
                        - Crichton, M. (2004) State of Fear, New York: Harper-Collins Publisher;
                        p.638







                        To subscribe send a blank e-mail to:
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                        >From the home page you can search the list archives. It also includes
                        links
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                        Yahoo! Groups Links








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