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via THE WEEKLY DETAIL
Monday, October 26, 2009
The purpose of the Detail is to help keep you informed of the current state of affairs in the friction ridge community, to provide an avenue to circulate original fingerprint-related articles, and to announce important events as they happen in our field.
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Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
by Stephanie Potter

Bloody prints match those of suspect
TheChronicleHerald.ca 10-16-09
"When compared to the latent prints, I found everything to be the same," Const. Christianson told the 12-member jury hearing its third day of testimony. ...

Fingerprints lead to Santa Rosa bank robbery arrest
Santa Rosa Press Democrat 10-19-09
Investigators identified Clark, who has a 2005 robbery conviction in Marin County, through fingerprint evidence. Clark was in possession of a large amount ...

Defense tries to discredit fingerprint analysis
WBIR-TV 10-20-09
Knoxville Police fingerprint analyst Daniel Crenshaw took the stand again Tuesday morning to talk about Lemaricus Davidson's fingerprints. ...

Thief who says he's innocent gets house arrest for break-in
Waterloo Record 10-22-09
By Dianne Wood Record staff A man who still insists he didn't break into a school although his fingerprints were found at the scene was sentenced to four ...

South Miami man charged in fatal stabbing
MiamiHerald.com 10-22-09
Detectives said Arauz's fingerprints matched those found at the scene. Police also said the suspect was carrying the victim's wallet when he was taken into ...

Recent CLPEX Posting Activity

news article: "McKie inquiry evidence to start"
by Identify » Tue Jun 02, 2009
Last post by Big Wullie View the latest post
Sun Oct 25, 2009


Forensic opening - Ontario, Ca
by jpadilla5 » Sun Oct 18, 2009
Last post by jpadilla5 View the latest post
Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:39 am


My story of the week
by Michele » Mon Aug 31, 2009
Last post by Kasey Wertheim View the latest post
Sun Oct 25, 2009


A new "expert" that we have to deal with
by ioan_truta » Fri Oct 23, 2009
Last post by Steve Everist View the latest post
Sat Oct 24, 2009


Fingerprint Society Update
by fpsociety » Tue Oct 13, 2009
Last post by Colin View the latest post
Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:40 am


Use of the word "suspect" on evidence submission form
by NYSLPE » Thu Oct 22, 2009
Last post by josher89 View the latest post
Fri Oct 23, 2009


VERMONT Is Evolving!
by Ann Horsman » Fri Aug 28, 2009
Last post by PCC View the latest post
Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:57 pm


SWGFAST DFC Documentation of ACE-V
by Charles Parker » Wed Oct 21, 2009
Last post by Pat A. Wertheim View the latest post
Wed Oct 21, 2009


Is Leonardo da Vinci the new Jackson Pollock?
by Steve Everist » Tue Oct 13, 2009
Last post by David Johnson View the latest post
Wed Oct 21, 2009


The Importance of Real-Time AFIS QC'ing
by josher89 » Tue Oct 20, 2009
Last post by Gerald Clough View the latest post
Wed Oct 21, 2009


How many verifications make an identification?
by rmcase » Tue Oct 13, 2009
Last post by Pat A. Wertheim View the latest post
Tue Oct 20, 2009


Popular History of Belle Epoque Forensics
by L.J.Steele » Mon Oct 19, 2009
Last post by Alan C View the latest post
Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:21 am

UPDATES ON CLPEX.com

Secured the domain name www.cfrex.org to pursue a non-profit Complete Friction Ridge Examination community. This will help facilitate the combination of the latent and tenprint communities as well as provide a non-profit platform for future activities such as webinars, e-lectures, web-based training, and accepting donations. More details to come as things fall into place. On the 'friction ridge' note, I need a couple of tenprint community volunteers to forward friction ridge articles of interest from their perspective, when they occur.

Updated the Detail archives

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Updated the format of the Weekly Detail e-mail to include a white background for less toner-intensive printing!

LAST WEEK

we looked at the revised draft for comment SWGFAST document entitled "Standard for the Documentation of Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation, and Verification (ACE-V). 

THIS WEEK

In response to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, the Innocence Project has drafted a legislative proposal that was widely circulated last weekin the forensic community. They propose a commission under the Department of Commerce that, if enacted, would affect most of the readers of the Weekly Detail. The Innocence Project is currently soliciting support for this proposal from Congress, although the reality of it's authority would still probably be years away. This may just be the first of many legislative proposals, and this one may not end up passing in it's current form. But I think it's safe to say that we will probably see some sort of Congressional action in the future regarding the NAS recommendations, and the Weekly Detail will help keep you informed and prepared as we approach that day. This is also an issue that applies to other forensic disciplines, so it might be a good Weekly Detail to forward up the chain of command, as appropriate.
__________________________________________

OFFICE OF FORENSIC SCIENCE IMPROVEMENT AND SUPPORT

LEGISLATIVE OUTLINE

Office of Forensic Science Improvement and Support (OFSIS) OFSIS will be established in the Department of Commerce, and it will be responsible for the direction, coordination, administration, and oversight of all of the provisions of this Act

OFSIS will direct forensic science-related research and standard-setting to be conducted within agencies with a primary capacity for scientific review and research, standard-setting, and grant-making, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and within other appropriate existing federal agencies

The Department of Justice (DOJ), in consultation with OFSIS and using OFSIS-established standards, will direct accreditation, certification and compliance enforcement

Definitions

Forensic Science Provider: A public or private laboratory, entity, or unit that processes forensic evidence for criminal proceedings

Forensic Science Practitioner: An individual who conducts and documents the results of forensic analyses for use in criminal proceedings

 

Title I: Organization

Director
Appointed by the President with Senate Confirmation

Forensic Science Commission
The Director, in consultation with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), will appoint members to the Commission

Commission members will include the following:

·          Persons who together possess relevant and diverse expertise including, but not limited to, statistics, research design, judgment and decision-making, organizational effectiveness, physics, chemistry, biology, criminology, cognition, computer science, genetics, and forensic science and examination, including those who conduct basic and applied research

The Commission’s roles will be to set broad agency research priorities and to promulgate forensic scientific standards

The Commission will retain all ultimate authority for all decisions made by the OFSIS

Advisory Committee
The Director, in consultation with NAS, NIST, and DOJ, will appoint members to an Advisory Committee
Committee members will include the following:

·          Judges, prosecutors, representatives from Federal, State, and local law enforcement, federal and state defense attorneys in public and private practice, public and private laboratories, and scientists and other scholars or experts whose work has addressed forensic science issues, and who will consult with affected stakeholders

The Advisory Committee’s role will be to assist and provide input to the Commission with respect to their responsibilities as they relate to the priorities of criminal justice, including ensuring that standards are phased in and enacted in a practical and feasible manner

 

Title II: Research and Standard-Setting

Basic and Applied Research

The Commission shall:

In consultation with DOJ and the Advisory Committee, develop a research agenda beginning with the categories that the Commission determines to be of highest priority

Establish a multi-year research plan to identify and answer basic and applied scientific questions in the forensic science arena

Direct a review of the existing body of forensic science information for the purposes of identifying peer-reviewed scientific research and existing forensic science standards

Oversee a determination of which statistical methods are currently used to provide weight to forensic conclusions, determine qualitative strength of conclusions,

Direct an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the existing body of forensic science, including the validity, reliability, and interoperability of existing assays and devices, and protocols and procedures; and develop the necessary tools to improve or replace assays and devices lacking scientific rigor

Direct an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of Forensic Science Providers, including their practices and methodologies

Direct an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of existing database system interoperability, including software development, database management, and interoperability among federal, state, and local databases

Direct the identification of and the conduct research into new and emerging technologies and devices

Establish Standards
In the order that it, in consultation with DOJ and the Advisory Committee, determines to be of highest priority, the Commission shall direct the:

Devising of standards to ensure the reliability of forensic assays, devices, and techniques

Devising of standards for technology and database interoperability

Devising of accreditation standards for Forensic Science Providers, which shall include criteria to ensure:

·          The reliable use of devices/assays

·          Quality assurance and quality control

·          Proper data reporting, evidence preservation, record keeping, and report writing requirements

·          The conduct of Forensic Science Practitioners and the results of forensic testing are free from undue pressure or influence from within or outside of the Forensic Science Provider

·          Periodic audits, reviews, and remedial actions

Devising of standards for the certification of Forensic Science Practitioners, which include the following:

·          Training requirements

·          Proficiency standards

·          Testing standards to ensure proficiency

·          Requirements for written reports

·          Testimony parameters

Consideration and identification of appropriate means to address differences among the operation of large and small public and private Forensic Science Providers when setting standards

Periodic review and revise the standards that it sets forth, all of which will be established by OFSIS after notice of proposed rulemaking (defined by 5 U.S.C. 553)

 

Title III: Technology Innovation Grant Program

New Technology Promotion Grants
A competitive, merit-reviewed grant program will be established within the Department of Commerce to support and promote, among public and private entities, the research, development, testing, and evaluation of assays, devices, technologies, and behavior and decision-making procedures and protocols; the grant program will also encourage partnerships between businesses and institutions of higher learning

Title IV: Accreditation and Certification

Assay/Device/Technology Approval

OFSIS will establish a program to certify and decertify, based on their validation and reliability, existing assays, devices, technologies, and techniques, as well as new assays, devices, technologies, and techniques as they come on-line

Accreditation of Institutional Forensic Science Providers

DOJ, in consultation with OFSIS and using OFSIS-established standards, will establish a program for the initial and ongoing accreditation of Federal, State, and local Forensic Science Providers, including both public and private entities

Accreditation will be conducted by appropriate Federal and State agencies, or by independent, non-profit and non-partisan professional organizations, using OFSIS standards

To be accredited, a Forensic Science Provider must use certified assays, devices, and technologies, and employ certified practitioners

Grants will be awarded to States and small independent Forensic Science Providers to assist with bringing laboratories to compliance

Certification of Individual Forensic Science Practitioners

DOJ, in consultation with OFSIS and using OFSIS-established standards, will establish a program for the certification and recertification of Federal, State, and local Forensic Science Practitioners, including both public and private practitioners

At the direction of DOJ and in consultation with OFSIS and using OFSIS-established standards, certification will be conducted by appropriate Federal and State agencies, or by an independent, non-profit and non-partisan organization, using OFSIS standards

To receive initial certification a Forensic Science Practitioner must pass appropriate proficiency exams

Ongoing proficiency testing, continuing education, use of validated assays, devices, and technologies, and documentation that the Forensic Science Practitioner meets OFSIS standards for report writing and testimony, will be required to renew certification

Grants will be awarded to States and small independent Forensic Science Providers to assist with bringing certification of practitioners to compliance

Database

DOJ will create and constantly update a database to list:

·          certified and decertified assays, devices, and technologies

·          accredited Forensic Science Providers and those who have lost accreditation

·          certified and decertified practitioners

 

Title V: Compliance and Enforcement

Compliance

Federal law enforcement will be required to use OFSIS standards, including the use of accredited Forensic Science Providers and of certified Forensic Science Practitioners, and OFSIS approved assays, devices, and technologies

As a condition for the receipt of certain federal grants, States must require that State and local law enforcement use of the OFSIS standards, including the use of accredited Forensic Science Providers and of certified Forensic Science Practitioners, and OFSIS-approved assays, devices, and technologies

DOJ, in consultation with OFSIS and using OFSIS-established standards, will establish a program to ensure State compliance with the use of OFSIS standards, including the mandated use of accredited Forensic Science Providers and of certified Forensic Science Practitioners, assays, devices, and technologies

On an ongoing basis, the implementation of the new forensic scientific standards will be identified, tracked, and evaluated by DOJ

Nothing in this Act will preclude a non-certified practitioner from testifying to the relative strengths or weaknesses of a given forensic assay, device, technique, or technology, either in general or as applied to the specific case

Training and Education

A grant program will be established by DOJ to assist State and local Forensic Science Providers with in-service training and continuing science education; other grants will be awarded to provide training for law enforcement, the courts, and prosecutorial and defense services

Funding will be provided to assist Federal Forensic Science Providers with in-service training; other funding will be awarded to provide training for Federal law enforcement, Federal courts, and Federal prosecutorial and defense services

 

Title VI: Post-Secondary Education Promotion

The Department of Education, in consultation with OFSIS, will establish a program to promote forensic sciences education, including educational grant and scholarship programs, federally-subsidized loans with fixed interest rates, and loan forgiveness or deferment programs

 

Title VII: Reports to Congress

Periodic Reports
On a periodic basis, OFSIS will issue a report to the House and Senate Committees on Judiciary; the House Science and Technology Committee and the Senate Commerce, Transportation, and Science Committee; and the House and Senate Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee regarding the implementation of this act

Funding Estimation
The report will include an estimation of the funding needs of the forensic science community, including but not limited to: funding needed for validation studies, Forensic Science Provider accreditation and operating needs and projected costs; Forensic Science Practitioner certification, training, and testing needs and projected costs; the existence of various specific forensic backlogs and the projected costs of eliminating them; database operation, upgrade, and interoperability improvement needs and projected costs; judicial, law enforcement, and prosecutorial and defense attorney resource needs and projected costs; and other miscellaneous compliance and enforcement needs and projected costs

 

Title VIII: Oversight
Inspectors General will provide oversight over the OFSIS and over compliance programs

Inspectors General powers will be limited to investigate allegations of fraud, conflicts of interest, undue pressure, et al.; not to the scientific product that OFSIS develops

 

Title IX: Authorization of Appropriations
Such funds as may be necessary will be authorized to enact this legislation

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

Have a GREAT week!

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