After a high-speed chase north of Orlando, Fla., sheriff’s deputies punctured the tires of a stolen Dodge Magnum and brought it to a stop. They arrested the driver, but couldn’t determine who he was. The man had no identification card. He passed out after stuffing something into his mouth. And his fingerprints, the deputies reported, appeared to have been chewed off.
So investigators turned to one of the oldest and largest facial recognition systems in the country: a statewide program based in Pinellas County, Fla., that began almost 20 years ago, when law enforcement agencies were just starting to use the technology. Officers ran a photo of the man through a huge database, found a likely match and marked the 2017 case as one of the system’s more than 400 successful “outcomes” since 2014.
Historical Cell Site Information cannot tell you where a client was at the time a crime was committed. Historical Cell Site Information is maintained by Cell Phone Companies for use in determining whether they have adequate cell phone “towers” to handle the potential usage by subscribers in a particular area. It was never designed to track or pinpoint a location from which a particular call was made. However, prosecutors are using Historical Cell Site information to create maps with the purpose of claiming a Defendant was located within a relatively close area to the crime scene or to refute an alibi. A Cell phone’s particular location can be tracked and pinpointed, but not through the use of Historical Cell Site data. We will discuss strategies for challenging the admissibility, the scope, and the weight of the prosecution’s proffered testimony regarding Historical cell site data. Attendees will learn the importance of challenging the proffered testimony under either Frye or Daubert. We will also discuss how cell phones “connect” to towers, which will be helpful in limit the weight given the Prosecution’s expert when she tries to claim the Defendant was in a general area at the time of the alleged crime.
A woman accused of stealing two grills from a Clermont hardware store was caught through facial recognition programs that analyzed security footage from a bulletin posted on social media, according to an arrest report.
A new facial recognition program being tested in Tampa along with a program used by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest Thursday of Heather Renee Reynolds, 31, of Apopka, the report said.
Hundreds of state prisoners have successfully used DNA evidence to win exonerations in the past three decades — except in 13 states.
The states are Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont. Exonerations have occurred in the 13 states, but none in which DNA evidence was central to proving innocence, according to the Innocence Project and the National Registry of Exonerations.
Elina went into labor on a scorching day in July.
It would be the second child for her and her husband, immigrants from Ukraine who ran a trucking business in Sarasota County. They picked out Western names: Adele for their rambunctious little girl. William for the child inside her belly, the son they had prayed for.
And so even though Elina wasn’t dilated, even though she was afraid, when the nurses told her to push, Elina pushed.
The creator of Scientific Content Analysis, or SCAN, says the tool can identify deception. Law enforcement has used his method for decades, even though there’s no reliable science behind it. Even the CIA and FBI have bought in.
Just two years ago, GEDmatch was still an obscure genealogy website, known only to a million or so hobbyist DNA sleuths looking to fill in their family trees. The site was free, public, and run by two guys with a knack for writing algorithms that helped relatives find each other. All in all, it was a pretty controversy-free place.
That all changed in April of 2018, when news broke that police had used GEDmatch to identify a suspect in the 40-year-old Golden State Killer case. As the site emerged as a crime-fighting tool, some users and privacy experts began to worry about how people’s genetic data might ensnare them in criminal investigations, when all they wanted was to learn about their family history. The transition has been rocky for GEDmatch. One drama after another has engulfed the website: Police searches have grown increasingly invasive; the site’s owners tried to react with changes to its terms of service that ended up backfiring; and white-hat hackers pointed out glaring security flaws. But starting Monday, that’s all someone else’s problem.
BRENDAN MAX AND two of his colleagues in the Cook County, Illinois, public defender’s office got some good news and some bad news in the spring of 2018. Actually, it was the same news: The three lawyers had nearly aced a proficiency test designed for fingerprint examiners.
None of them had any training or real expertise in latent fingerprint analysis — the practice of trying to match a fingerprint collected from a crime scene to the known print of a suspect — aside from what they’d learned during their years working criminal defense.
Big Names. Big Science; a Big-Time CLE Experience!
Don’t miss this great opportunity for a no-nonsense, national networking CLE featuring the leading faculty in their respective fields. This two-day event is produced in partnership with the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ).
As Tony Aiello entered his nineties, he had false teeth, an artificial hip, and an artificial knee. He gripped a walker to hoist himself out of bed. Stiff in the back, he had contraptions to help him pull on his pants and socks, along with a shoehorn to slide his feet into velcro-strapped shoes. He had hearing aids and a pacemaker with a defibrillator for his triple-bypassed heart. He would read recipes in the living room and forget the ingredients by the time he reached the kitchen. Arthritis stiffened the fingers that had served him for decades as a deli butcher, so he cut food with scissors. He took blood thinners for his congestive heart failure. The slightest nick while pruning trees in the yard would make him bleed until his wife, Adele, would, as he put it, “patch me up.” After losing an inch or so to age, Tony stood 4’11”.
Still, Tony would brag, “Nobody believes that I’m 90.” He could do anything—“a little slower.” Perhaps that was just Tony being Tony. People who’d known him for decades said he’d always had “little man syndrome.” But maybe there was something to the bravado. Neighbors said that not so long ago, Tony seemed hale—a stocky figure walking down the sidewalk in a tank top, like a pint-size, sure-stepping Marlon Brando. He was gutsy too: When he was about 80, he met Adele Navarra while they were in line at the Save Mart meat counter and asked her to coffee the same night. He bought two dozen roses for the occasion.
Please remember the 18th Annual Public Defender Clothing Drive at the Orange County Courthouse on Saturday, December 7th between 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. We will be located at the circular driveway at 435 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801, to receive your donations and thank you for your contributions. Donation receipts will be provided.
We are happy to take your donations throughout the year. Please call the office at 407-836-4806 to schedule a clothing pick-up or drop-off.
Public Defender, Ninth Judicial Circuit
435 N. Orange Ave., Ste. 400, Orlando FL 32801
Join us for a lunch and learn event featuring Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ President Hal Schuhmacher for a presentation on DUI defense. Hal will share techniques and strategies to use pretrial defense motions to reduce the state’s power and achieve better outcomes in DUI cases. Lunch will be provided by Fresh Kitchen. CLE credit will be available for Florida bar members.
The Georgia Capital Defenders had scheduled a great October CLE program in Savannah captioned “Telling the Client’s Story,” but had complications which prevented them from going forward. We contacted GCD and offered to put on their program in Orlando with the always helpful Barry School of Law as hosts. Next, our partners at the National Center for Forensic Science joined the party with their support. The final, special ingredient came with friend of PD9, Professor Richard Rogers, agreeing to join us on Friday.
So, with all this energy and collaboration we are presenting this program on Friday, Nov. 8, all day Saturday, Nov. 9 and a Sunday, Nov. 10 morning closing session. Please review the agenda. You will find a very thorough Daubert program as well as the modified Georgia program.
Pricing will be in the $200 range for the entire event. CLE credit calculations are pending. To register, please click here.
A prosecutor projected a grisly photo onto a screen for the jury. It showed a little girl’s feet, burned up to her ankles and covered in blisters. The 2-year-old had climbed into a bathtub when nobody was looking, her grandparents had said, and the hot water must have been set too high.
In the Texas courthouse 100 miles east of Dallas that day in September 2012, the prosecutor turned to his expert witness and asked whether he believed the child’s injuries could have been the result of an accident.
Today’s criminal defense bar is facing ever-increasing challenges when protecting their clients from law enforcement searches, unreliable information and prejudicial evidence. This program will arm you with the tools necessary to combat these intrusions and prosecutorial overreach, and equip you with effective strategies to suppress them whether on 4th and 5th Amendment grounds or by other pretrial motions.
Our nationally recognized faculty of experts and leading litigators will address the latest challenges and tactics to effectively suppress and preclude use of the prosecution’s evidence. You will acquire the skills necessary to suppress searches whether they arise from the increasing intrusions into our privacy as technology advances or old fashioned methods such as racial profiling, canine sniffs or knock and talks. Learn the latest techniques to suppress eyewitness identification and statements obtained in violation of your client’s Miranda rights. We’ll also cover creative motions to file, to preclude the admission of prejudicial evidence, inadmissible hearsay violating the right to confrontation and Daubert challenges to unvalidated forensic science and so-called prosecution experts. Most importantly, you will be provided with the strategic tools and arguments to protect your clients from a large variety of law enforcement and prosecution abuse.
There’s no time like the middle of winter to join your NACDL colleagues in sunny San Diego for this essential program to prepare yourself for future litigation.
Methods for screening suspected controlled substances include the use of color tests. When used properly and performed alongside other confirmatory testing methods, these tests can provide positive identification of suspected controlled substances. When applied in the field under imperfect circumstances by law enforcement personnel, it could lead to false positives.
Dr. Blair’s research team is seeking to provide a modernized system for field drug testing to law enforcement. Their technology leverages fluorescence spectroscopy by way of a handheld spectrometer using relatively inexpensive parts. For field use, a portable drug testing system that consists of a handheld fluorescence spectrometer and a mobile app with access to a reference photoemission spectral database for drug standards is being actively developed. This completed system will provide law enforcement officers with a simple, more accurate, adaptable, and affordable testing method for field drug identification.
A child abuse pediatrician will present an overview of the medical evaluation for suspected sexual abuse. Examples of the different roles between physician and nurse providers will be outlined stressing the necessity of specialized training regardless of degree and the importance of participating in ongoing education and case review for quality assurance. Salient features of how the exam is performed, findings interpreted, and when/how collection of DNA/laboratory specimens are collected. Specific attention will be paid to why most children who have been sexually abused will have “normal” exams and why that typically does not discount or rule out a child’s disclosure of sexual assault/abuse. Content will be appropriate for both medical and non-medical child abuse professionals.
This summer, Robert Wesley, Public Defender of the Ninth Circuit, partnered with Dr. Candice Bridge from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the National Center for Forensic Science (NCFS) to provide a Forensic Science Law Camp for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida.
This law camp gave middle school and high school children an introduction to a career in forensic science. The students had the opportunity to learn how to compare fingerprints and ask for career guidance. This experience culminated in a mock trial at the end of the summer.
The Ninth Circuit for Orange and Osceola Counties, UCF, and the NCFS is committed to outreach programs like this one to help educate and make careers in Forensic Science accessible to the community.
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