Improving Forensic Science in the United States: Technology, Standards and Quality John Morgan Assistant Director, National Institute of Justice 17th Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences: International Forensic Summit August - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Improving Forensic Science in the United States: Technology, Standards and Quality John Morgan Assistant Director, National Institute of Justice 17th Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences: International Forensic Summit August PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 3b9f2d-ZjZiY


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Improving Forensic Science in the United States: Technology, Standards and Quality John Morgan Assistant Director, National Institute of Justice 17th Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences: International Forensic Summit August


Improving Forensic Science in the United States: Technology, Standards and Quality – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:462
Avg rating:3.0/5.0


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Improving Forensic Science in the United States: Technology, Standards and Quality John Morgan Assistant Director, National Institute of Justice 17th Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences: International Forensic Summit August

Improving Forensic Science in the United States
Technology, Standards and QualityJohn
MorganAssistant Director, National Institute of
Justice17th Meeting of the International
Association of Forensic Sciences International
Forensic SummitAugust 23, 2005
  • True or false
  • DNA results take 8 minutes
  • DNA results can tell investigators what a suspect
    looks like
  • All CSIs are good looking and solve crimes
    wearing Armani
  • All CSI drive Hummers, especially in Florida
  • Compliments of Linda Ledray

The Real Story
  • BJS survey demonstrates that there are
    substantial delays in DNA analyses across the US.
  • State labs have faced a dramatic increase in
    demand without increased capacity.
  • Lack up-to-date technology and automation
  • Faster and more cost effective analysis methods
  • Need training to ensure the optimal use of DNA,
    other forensic techniques
  • NIJ 180 Day Study
  • Non-DNA Backlogs, death investigations, training,
    professional standards, new technology challenges

New technology challenges
All speed camera fines in doubt 10-08-2005 From
The Daily Telegraph   EVERY fine issued by speed
cameras could be invalid, after the Roads and
Traffic Authority admitted yesterday it could not
prove the authenticity of the pictures they
take. In a double blow to the RTA, The Daily
Telegraph can also reveal that Sydney Harbour
Tunnel cameras monitoring toll cheats have been
switched off for at least three years - and no
penalties handed out. The revelation came as
Sydney magistrate Lawrence Lawson threw out a
speeding case after the RTA said it had no
evidence that an image from a camera had not been
doctored. "The integrity of all speed camera
offences has been thrown into serious doubt and
it appears that the RTA is unable to prove any
contested speed camera matter because of a lack
of admissible evidence," Mr Miralis said. The
case revolved around the integrity of a
mathematical MD5 algorithm published on each
picture and used as a security measure to prove
pictures have not been doctored after they have
been taken.    
Challenges to the Crime Solving Potential of DNA
  • Crime labs are overwhelmed by backlogs.
  • collected, untested convicted offender samples
    (200,000 - 300,000)
  • Convicted offender samples under review
  • owed offender samples (500,000 - 1,000,000)
  • forensic casework sample backlog over 500,000
    (including 52,000 homicide cases, 169,000 sexual
    assault cases, and 264,000 property crime cases)
  • Most forensic samples needing testing are still
    in the hands of law enforcement agencies

The Presidents Initiative Realizing the Full
Potential of DNA Technology
  • Announced by Attorney General Ashcroft on March
    11, 2003.
  • Comprehensive national strategy to use DNA
    technology to solve crime and protect the
  • Proposes more than 1 billion in funding in five
    years to fulfill goals of the Initiative.

The Presidents DNA Initiative
  • Eliminate DNA sample backlogs within five years.
  • Sample analysis times lt 30 days.
  • Strengthen crime laboratory capacity at the
    Federal, State, and local levels.
  • Train the criminal justice community
  • Police, officers of the court, SANE/SART, the
  • Provide access to post-conviction DNA testing to
    protect the innocent.
  • Stimulate research development
  • Use DNA to identify missing persons.
  • Build our Nations capacity to use DNA as a
    routine law enforcement tool
  • allow police to focus resources on the guilty
    early in the investigation
  • exonerate the innocent before charges
  • Improve the capacity of crime labs through
    education and training of analysts, new
  • Extend use of DNA beyond sexual assault
  • Ensure a Federal exit strategy
  • Establish quality assurance standards for DNA

DNA Issues in USA
  • Crown widen DNA net to catch criminals
  • Prosecutor Key is to collect samples from more
  • EDMONTON -- The serial killer preying on Edmonton
    prostitutes would now be in jail if the National
    DNA Data Bank included a greater number of
    samples from the criminal population, says a
    veteran Crown prosecutor who handled the Corinne
    Gustavson case.
  • "We'd have that person," says Jason Track. "I
    have no idea who it is, but I just think it's
    very rare that you get someone with no criminal
    record who could engage in that kind of
  • CanWest News Service, July 17, 2005
  • DNA sought in schoolgirl rapes
  • Monroe County District Attorney Michael C. Green
    asked a judge Wednesday to allow a DNA sample to
    be taken from Keith Lamar Laster, 37, a suspect
    in the rape of three Rochester schoolgirls in
    1995. A sample of Laster's DNA in an Alabama DNA
    database that became part of a national database
    linked Laster to 1995 rape cases earlier this
    year. Laster was extradited last month from his
    hometown of Eufaula, Ala.
  • Rochester Democrat Chronicle, 7/705
  • DNA Databases
  • What types of offenders should be in DNA
  • All felons
  • Juveniles
  • Arrestees
  • Misdemeanors
  • Etc.

DNA Issues in USA
  • Casework delays
  • How fast does DNA analysis have to be to
    effectively aid in investigations?
  • Do police wait for DNA results before following
    up in certain cases?
  • City police see chance to solve several crimes
    The bodies of Rice, 34, and Criss, 27, were
    found in their home at 2616 E. Lawrence Ave.
    about 1020 a.m. May 25. Each had been shot once
    in the head and once in the body. Police have
    cited robbery as a possible motive for the
    murders. I don't know that the state police has
    given a date when we can expect them, but as soon
    as they can get here, we're anxiously awaiting
    receipt of our returned evidence," Keen said.
  • State Journal-Register, 7/705

DNA Issues in USA
  • Prioritization of evidence
  • Should DNA evidence be examined in some cases
    where case is not cold?
  • In what cases/crime scenes can DNA be most
  • Tests Slated for Hair Found in Aruba
  • Four strands of blonde hair were being flown to
    Holland for DNA testing, Aruban police confirmed
    to FOX News Sunday. The discovery could be a
    much-needed break in the search for missing
    Alabama high school student Natalee Holloway.
  • Fox News, July 18, 2005

DNA Issues in USA
  • DNA as a routine investigative tool
  • How can DNA be used most effectively in police
  • Phentotyping
  • Eliminations
  • Combination with other information
  • Tips
  • Other forensic evidence
  • After 31 years, 10 deaths, pieces in BTK case
    fall in place  
  • The DNA profile showed the killer was a white
    male.. In a somewhat controversial move,
    investigators took 1,600 DNA mouth swabs from men
    mainly in and around Wichita a few came from
    people living out of state. Almost all
    voluntarily complied.If DNA ruled out someone,
    police crossed that person off their list, "much
    to the chagrin" of some people who persisted in
    suspecting the eliminated people, Landwehr said.
    Some repeatedly sent e-mails to police demanding
    that the task force continue to investigate
    certain people.But department spokeswoman Janet
    Johnson said "There's just no arguing with
  • Jul. 13, 2005 0805 AM
  • The Wichita Eagle

DNA Issues in USA
  • Rape verdicts may encourage other victims
  • Victims of past rapes may be encouraged to come
    forward following the conviction yesterday of
    four men for the gang-rape of a 20-year-old woman
    at Mt Maunganui 16 years ago, a sexual abuse
    expert says. "I think women that may have buried
    that experience or partly forgotten about it, can
    be reconnected with it and have a desire to come
    forward and do something about it.
  • New Zealand Herald, 6/7/05
  • What happens after a hit?
  • What are the conviction outcomes from DNA hits?
    Cold hits?
  • How often are pleas reached or confessions
    obtained because of DNA?
  • Does DNA encourage victims to cooperate with law

Solving Cold Cases with DNA
  • Search, evaluate, select and conduct DNA analysis
    on violent crime cold cases (i.e., old,
    unsolved cases) that have the potential to be
    solved through DNA testing.
  • Take advantage of scientific advances that
    improve the ability to use DNA from biological
    evidence that is old, of poor quality, or limited
    in quantity.
  • Use expanded and searchable convicted offender
    databases (now over 2M profiles)
  • 14.2M in grants in FY05

Solving Cold Cases with DNA
  • Hosted by the National Forensic Science
    Technology Center
  • Educate attendees on strategies used to solve
    cold cases and available resources
  • Discuss model Cold Case Units, prioritization of
    cases, cold case interviews, forensic technology,
    support from local public policy leaders.
  • Learn about databases (CODIS, convicted offender
    databases, casework databses, mtDNA database,
    reference samples for DNA comparison)
  • Fall 2005 first in Kansas City, MO
  • Using DNA to Solve Cold Cases (NIJ publication,
    NCJ 194197)
  • Cold Case Squads Leaving No Stone Unturned
    (BJA publication, NCJ 199781)
  • A Process Evaluation of the California DNA Cold
    Hit Program (State of California,

Legislation to Increase the Use of DNA Analysis
  • 19,000 law enforcement agencies in the United
  • 50 States not under federal control
  • The Presidents Initiative endorses state
    legislative action that maximizes the use of DNA
  • Encourages States to pass legislation expanding
    DNA collections to include all convicted
  • Encourages States to make offender collection
    statutes fully retroactive to offenders who are
    in custody or under parole supervision.
  • Supports Federal legislation to allow States to
    enter all lawfully collected DNA profiles into
    the national database, including collected
    juvenile and arrestee profiles.
  • Model legislation for missing persons.

Missing Persons Initiative
  • DNA Testing of Unidentified Remains
  • 40,000 unidentified decedents in USA each year
  • Collaboration with ME/coroners, National Center
    for Missing and Exploited Children, National
    Center for Missing Adults, law enforcement
  • Identify and collect unidentified human remains
    and reference samples
  • Standardized sample collection kits in missing
    persons cases
  • Safe, effective, non-invasive means for obtaining
    appropriate family reference samples
  • Sample kit for the collection, transportation and
    storage of human remains samples.
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center
  • Missing Persons Model Statute
  • Comprehensive approach to missing persons issues
  • Non-uniform LE policies on missing persons
    reports and follow-up
  • No uniform standard of high-risk missing persons
  • Lack of DNA collection from relatives of the
    missing and unidentified dead

State Missing Persons Model Statute
  • Report acceptance
  • All LE agencies must accept any report of a
    missing person
  • Report must include standard information, such as
    name, DOB, identifying info, circumstances of
    disappearance, etc.
  • Report must be shared within state and region
  • Victim services
  • Reporting individual and family must be notified
    of handling of case by LE agency
  • DNA samples must be taken within 30 days and
    uploaded to all relevant national, state and
    local DNA missing persons databases.
  • High-risk missing persons must be assessed
  • Stranger abduction, suspicious circumstances,
    non-custodial parent, past threats or acts of
    violence, etc.
  • Unidentified remains ME/coroner must use
    standard means to identify all remains, including
    DNA analysis.
  • Prohibit cremation of unidentified remains
  • Information on remains must be entered
    immediately into NCIC and DNA databases.

Forensic Science Research Development
  • GOAL
  • Develop tools and technologies that can enhance
    or increase the capacity, capability,
    applicability, and/or reliability of analysis of
    crime scene evidence.

DNA Technology Development
  • DNA Chip Technology
  • A Chip Based Genetic Detector for Rapid
    Identification (Nanogen)
  • Microfluidic DNA Analysis System for Forensic
    Applications (NIST)
  • Technologies that enable the analysis of
    degraded, old, or compromised items of biological
  • mtDNA Analysis by dHPLC for the Characterization
    and Separation of Mixtures in Forensic Samples
    (University of Denver)
  • Physical characteristic identification
  • Gene Polymorphism and Human Pigmentation
    (University of Arizona)
  • The use of animal, plant, and microbial DNA
  • Generating More Precise Postmortem Interval
    Estimates with Entomological Evidence (Michigan
    State University)
  • Separation of male DNA from victims DNA in
    sexual assaults
  • Development of Multiplexed SNP Assays for
    Y-Chromosome DNA Markers for Human Identity (NIST)

Forensic DNA Standards and Validation
  • Validation of Y-Chromosome STR Multiplexes for
    Operational Use (National Center for Forensic
  • Population Genetics of SNPs for Forensic Purposes
    (Yale University)
  • mtDNA Database for Statistical Characterization
    within Populations (American Registry of
  • Simple, Rapid, and Accurate Quantitation of DNA
    (Vermont Dept. of Public Safety)
  • Quantitation of DNA for Forensic DNA Typing by
    qPCR Singleplex and Multiplex Modes for Nuclear
    and Mitochondrial Genomes, and the Y Chromosome
    (California DOJ)
  • Standard Reference Materials
  • SRM 2395 Y-Chromosome Standard (NIST)
  • SRM 2392 Human Mitochondrial DNA Sequencing
    Standard (NIST)
  • SRM 2391, 2391a, 2391b PCR-based DNA Profiling
    Standard (NIST)
  • SRM 2372 Human DNA Quantitation Standard (NIST -
    not yet available)

General Forensics Research and Development
  • Controlled substances and toxicology
  • SPME, LC/MS/MS of drugs of abuse, other analytes
    in postmortem/decomposed samples (Sam Houston
    State Univ., Georgia Bureau of Investigation)
  • Capillary electrophoresis of methamphetamine
    laboratory evidence (Washington State Patrol)
  • GC/MS of MDMA and other methamphetamines (Auburn
  • Microfluidics applied to drug-facilitated sexual
    assault samples (Florida International
    University, Ohio University)
  • PMI and anthropology
  • Statistical methods for estimating PMI using
    natural variation in insect growth (West Virginia
  • Update of stature estimation from US forensic
    anthropology database (Univ. of Tennessee)
  • Year of birth and year of death from 14C levels
    in human remains (University of Arizona)
  • Morphometric tools for characterization of human
    skulls (North Carolina State University)
  • Other
  • Improved digital evidence extraction and analysis
    tools and technologies (various)
  • Improved detection/quantitation methods of
    accelerants in fire debris, glass and paint
    materials (various)
  • Development and testing of erythema and deep
    tissue injuries in elder abuse (National
    Institute of Biomedical Imaging and

Fingerprint Research and Development
  • NIJ solicited research proposals in FY05 for
    improved tools and statistical methods for use of
    the fingerprint examiner.
  • Quantitative assessment of friction ridge
    patterns (error rates, ROC, etc. Research
    Foundation of SUNY)
  • Quantitative analysis of fingerprints based on
    human expertise (Indiana University)
  • Latent print detection by micro-Raman imaging
    (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)
  • Improved methods for fingerprint development on
    hand guns (INP)
  • Topological model for assessment of partial
    fingerprints (Forensic Science Service)
  • High-resolution analysis of level III
    characteristics (International Biometric Group,
  • Dermatoglyphic growth pattern in children
    adolescents (Ultrascan Corp.)
  • Fast capture of rolled-ink impressions
  • Four technologies to capture real-time
    rolled-equivalent images of fingerprints (lt15
    seconds) and palmprints (lt1 min)
  • gt10M commitment to improving ST of impression

General Forensics Validation and Standards
  • SWGDOG (Scientific Working Group on Dog and
    Orthogonal Detectors)
  • Best practices, new technology, uniform training,
  • Computer Forensic Tools Testing, software
    reference database (NIST)
  • Objective physical matching methods (INP)
  • Ballistics and ballistic image databases
  • Statistical Validation of the Individuality of
    Guns Using 3D Images of Bullets (Intelligent
    Automation, Inc.)
  • Assessment of Ballistics Databases (National
    Academy of Sciences)
  • Quantitaive Assessment of the Discriminatory
    Power of Handwriting and Validating/Improving
    Handwriting Identification Procedures (State
    University of New York, Center of Excellence for
    Document Analysis and Recognition)
  • Instrumental Analysis of Pigmented Inks (Indiana
  • SRM for refractive index of glass (NIST)
  • Standard casing reference materials (NIST)
  • Polynomial texture mapping of footwear and tire
    impression evidence (California Department of

  • Questions?
  • John Morgan
  • 1-202-305-0995