It's Evident... NCSTL's Quarterly e-Newsletter
FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK... Carol Henderson
This column is a synopsis of what NCSTL has accomplished during the fourth quarter of 2013 and highlights what is new. This issue of It's Evident
features articles related to forensic issues that Capital Litigators, Forensic Nurses, and others may find relevant to their practice.
- http://www.ncstl.org’s “ONE-STOP-SHOP” data-base currently holds almost 140,800 records of which over 8,000 are multimedia records. NCSTL continues to develop and consolidate forensic-based information including webcasts, podcasts, blog links, and training materials which focus on science, technology and law topics.
- People from over 170 countries search the growing database, read most current forensic-related news in the Spotlight section and It's Evident, locate events on the NCSTL Calendar, explore Education & Training resources, listen to talks given by forensic experts featured in the Multimedia section of the homepage, and subscribe to NCSTL's RSS Feeds.
- Students from Stetson University College of Law have been working with NCSTL pro bono to gain experience in legal research this semester.
- To inform NCSTL's constituency, which includes law enforcement, legal professionals, scientists, engineers, educators, and technologists, NCSTL representatives make presentations and offer training in-person and online on a multitude of topics. NCSTL has trained more than 12,500 people in-person.
- The SANE-SART Program, a partnership between NCSTL and the SANE-SART Resource Service, is in full swing. Forensic nurses are receiving comprehensive training on forensic examinations in-person and via webinar. Face-to-face trainings took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 24-25, 2013 and in Charleston, South Carolina on October 1 and 2, 2013. Sixteen nurses were trained during each session. A series of 90-minute webinars were conducted on various topics. Approximately one thousand nurses have participated.
- NCSTL reminds readers that the online course, Law 101: A Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert, housed on DNA.gov, is highly popular and was billed as “one of the most popular courses ever offered on DNA.gov”. It is free and available to the public. To see it and/or take the course, go to https://law101.dna.gov and register for an account.
- As Division Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Science & Technology Law Scientific Evidence Committee, I am proud to announce that the 2014 ABA Information Governance, Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence National Institute will be held at Stetson's Tampa Law Center on January 28-31, 2014. I oversee seven committees and organize webinars and CLE.
- The Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA) NIFS October, 2013 newsletter is chock full of information relevant to capital cases including new forensic entomology apps and a listing of comprehensive forensic projects.
Wishing you all the best!
Progress in Fire Investigation: Moving from Witchcraft and Folklore to the Misuse of Models and the Abuse of Science
John J. Lentini, CFEI, F-ABC, Scientific Fire Analysis, LLC
This paper presents two old case studies, and two newer ones. The old case studies will reprise the now well-known investigations into virus that resulted in the conviction and capital sentencing of Ernest Ray Willis (1986-2004), and Cameron Todd Willingham (1991-2004). The newer cases are a capital criminal case alleging arson/homicide (2001-2010), and a civil arson case alleging the use of high-temperature accelerant (2001-2006). Full paper
The Motivations Behind the Crime of Rape
Angela J. Lack, P.L.L.C., Attorney
Though both men and women are capable of committing rape, the majority of recorded rapes are committed by men against female victims. This article focuses on the sociological and psychological theories of the motives of rape when the offender is male and the victim is female.
Rape was viewed in the past as "the expression of an overwhelming sexual urge, one that women could invite by provocative dress or behavior. More recently, it has been widely described as simple violence against women, expressed through sex.”4
Because each rape may be committed for a different reason, it is impossible to specifically define who is a rapist and what motivates each offender.5 Full paper
Determining Facts: Juries vs. Arbitrators
Alan Balfour, J.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of South Florida
The George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case has again focused the nation’s attention on jury matters. Much of the concern has been given to seating a jury whose members had not already been exposed to media coverage. This article, however, addresses a different, far less publicized aspect of jury decision making. It is the skill of jurors. While it is true the role of jurors is limited to the determination of the facts in the case, not the law or how it is applied, this still remains an important task that can be assumed to benefit from acquired skill. The problem is we do not recruit jurors on skill.
FROM THE RESEARCH DESK...
TECHNOLOGY AND DISTANCE EDUCATION NEWS
Diana Botluk, J.D., Director of Research
Susan Zucker, Ph.D., Director Technology & Distance Education and Publisher and Editor of It's Evident
Check out the NCSTL exclusive forensic videos
created by NCSTL Research Attorney, Kevin Paget: Forensics of Firearms
and History of Fingerprints
. Read more
Visit the NCSTL's Selected Books Added to the NCSTL Collection
in the Stetson Library and the NCSTL's Special Collections
from the collections.
Become NCSTL's fan on Facebook and a follower on Twitter.