It's Evident... NCSTL's Quarterly e-Newsletter
THE DIRECTOR’S DESK...
This column is a synopsis of what NCSTL has accomplished during the third quarter of 2011 and highlights what is new.
- http://www.ncstl.org’s “one-stop-shop” database currently holds almost 129,518 records of which over 7,700 are multimedia records. NCSTL continues to develop and consolidate forensic-based information including webcasts, podcasts, vodcasts, 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 area of the homepage, and subscribe to NCSTL's RSS Feeds.
- To inform NCSTL's constituency, which includes law enforcement, legal professionals, scientists, engineers, educators, and technologists, NCSTL representatives make presentations and offer training on a multitude of topics. NCSTL has trained more than 12,300 people. Anjali Swienton, Director of Outreach, conducted a three-day Capital Litigation Training Workshop for defense attorneys in Tampa, FL. from August 29-31, 2011. Ms. Swienton chaired the workshop, presented "Forensic DNA”, "CSI Effect", "Evidence Identification, Collection and Preservation", and participated in a Mock Trial at the training. Diana Botluk, NCSTL Director of Research, presented “Forensic Science Research for Defense Attorneys" at the Capital Litigation Training on August 31, 2011.
I presented “The National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law: An International Resource,” in Madeira, Portugal on September 15, 2011 at the International Association of Forensic Sciences (IAFS), 19th Triennial Meeting. At that same meeting, Susan Ballou, Program Manager for Forensic Sciences Office of Law Enforcement Standards National Institute of Standards & Technology and NCSTL Advisory Council member, and I, co-chaired an Oral Presentation on the various issues regarding questioned document examination in Mainland China. On August 26, 2011, I presented "When Dead Bodies Talk – Forensics for the Writer" at Mystery Florida 2011 in Sarasota, FL and on August 24, 2011, I presented "Presenting Expert Evidence: Challenges for the 21st Century Witness, Introduction to Forensic Studies", at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, FL.
- NCSTL receives regular media coverage. On August 26, 2011, I talked about the “CSI Effect and Forensics” with a reporter from the Longboat Key News. I also was interviewed on "Forensic Science", by Frontline (PBS); air date is January, 2012.
- NCSTL has completed the development of an online course entitled Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert. It is housed on DNA.gov and 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. More information ...
Wishing you all the best!
Battlefield Forensics: Tracking Down Terrorists
Ellen Mizio, MLIS, NCSTL Fellow
In today's war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, information about improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other bombs and their creators has become vital. Terrorist activities happen frequently and are often perpetrated by the same suspects, so it becomes important to track these suspects and gather information about them in an attempt to detain and punish them. Full paper
United States v. Jones
Stephanie Poniatowski, NCSTL Research Assistant, JD/MBA candidate May 2012
Advances in technology are affecting the degree of privacy citizens have enjoyed under the provisions of the Fourth Amendment. In November 2011, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in United States v. Jones1
(formerly United States v. Maynard
) to determine whether placing a GPS on a suspect's vehicle without a warrant qualifies as a search and whether the Fourth Amendment is violated when law enforcement uses the tracking device to follow of a vehicle's whereabouts. The Supreme Court's holding will address how the Fourth Amendment's ban on "unreasonable searches and seizures" applies at a time when people's movements are constantly documented by technology contained in their phones, vehicles, GPS’s, and other devices.2
Terrorism: Technology and Policy Ten Years Later
Angela Lack, Esquire of Angela J. Lack, P.L.L.C.
On September 11, 2001, thousands of Americans watched as hijackers took control of four commercial airplanes, intentionally crashing two of them into the World Trade Center in New York City. In less than two hours, the Twin Towers collapsed and the hijackers crashed the other two airplanes into the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after the passengers on that airplane attempted to regain control of the airplane. Approximately 3,000 people died that day as a result of the terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda. Since that day, the United States heightened it security levels, enhanced its strategies and policies relating to the prevention of terrorism, and has never forgotten the events that took place on September 11, 2001.
FROM THE RESEARCH DESK... Diana Botluk, J.D., Director of Research
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.
TECHNOLOGY AND DISTANCE EDUCATION NEWS
Susan Zucker, Ph.D., Director Technology & Distance Education and Publisher and Editor of It's Evident
The BIG news is that Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert
has been completed and has been billed by the National Institute of Justice as one of the most popular courses housed on DNA.gov EVER!
Become NCSTL's fan on Facebook and a follower on Twitter. Read more