In this Sum it Up: Steve Mariotti has part two out from his series “How and Why I Teach in Prisons.” The link is here.
A small quote: “A sad fact of prison life is that within three years of entry a majority of prisoners have no contact with the outside world; they lose all connection with their families. Joe’s idea was to create a strategy for helping inmates reengage with their relatives, particularly their children. Hopefully it would make them more likely to build the kind of support system needed to reintegrate into their communities.” Stay tuned for parts three and four.
Ben Finley from the PhillyBurbs contacted me. He has a good overview out of cold cases and they could use some more media attention. The cases range in date from 1975 to 2009 and include children, security guards, unidentified people and more. Please take a look and contact us if you have any memories relating to these cases. Ben can be reached at [email protected]
My cop friend Suzie, the only cop I know with pink handcuffs (if there are more, lemme know) has an excellent story for you on her blog. It explains to you something about drugs, gorillas, and what cops find when the bust a meth lab! It is a MUST read!
Jeremy’s blog Path Wonk will give those of you interested in neuropathology a slate of cases with the diagnosis in every post.
After 34 years, the United Stated Supreme Court will finally take a look at eyewitness identifications. “Mistaken identifications lead to wrongful convictions. Of the first 250 DNA exonerations, 190 involved eyewitnesses who were wrong, as documented in “Convicting the Innocent,” a recent book by Brandon L. Garrett, a law professor at the University of Virginia.”
From the Innocence Project more information: “When witnesses get it wrong”
“In case after case, DNA has proven what scientists already know — that eyewitness identification is frequently inaccurate. In the wrongful convictions caused by eyewitness misidentification, the circumstances varied, but judges and juries all relied on testimony that could have been more accurate if reforms proven by science had been implemented. The Innocence Project has worked on cases in which:
• A witness made an identification in a “show-up” procedure from the back of a police car hundreds of feet away from the suspect in a poorly lit parking lot in the middle of the night.
• A witness in a rape case was shown a photo array where only one photo of the person police suspected was the perpetrator was marked with an “R.”
• Witnesses substantially changed their description of a perpetrator (including key information such as height, weight and presence of facial hair) after they learned more about a particular suspect.
• Witnesses only made an identification after multiple photo arrays or lineups — and then made hesitant identifications (saying they “thought” the person “might be” the perpetrator, for example), but at trial the jury was told the witnesses did not waver in identifying the suspect.”
Via Old Chap, I learned that in the UK the use the Turnbull directionin court: “Where the prosecution case relies to a large extent on the identification of the defendant as the perpetrator, the judge should warn the jury of the need for caution in interpreting the evidence of the identifying witnesses. The judge should point out that a witness can be quite certain in his own mind, and very confident of his identification, and yet still be mistaken. In R v clifton 1986, Lord Lane CJ emphasised that the Turnbull direction should expose the weaknesses in the indentification evidence in the specific case, as well as problems with identification in general.”
The Forensic Anthropology Forum has posted about the upcoming 2011 Skeletal Recovery Workshop. The link to the calendar is here. The Workshop is by the LA County Dept of Coroner, October 3rd-7th. The workshop covers skeletal recovery and basic facial reconstruction.
Last but not least, to call for action!
“Pinal County Sheriff’s Office investigators (AZ) say they are close to solving a 1979 cold case involving a boy who was 10 years old at the time he disappeared. Detectives said, however, they still need the public’s help in the case of Randy Parscale Jr., who disappeared on April 7, 1979 after he was separated from other family members while on a hiking trip to Peppersauce Canyon near the town of Oracle.” Read more here.
If you can help, contact the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office at 520-866-5161 or call the Pinal County Silent Witness line at 1-800-358-4636.
P.S.: I just found out that my Twitter friend the Glimmerghost (a.k.a. Doug Hardin) has a fantastic photo series on his website from World War II. The pictures belong to his father and tell his journey through the Pacific. Thanks, Doug, for sharing.