Forensic Science for the Criminal Justice World

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1 Forensic Science for the Criminal Justice World The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is proud to partner with the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education to present the first comprehensive academy on forensic science for practicing lawyers and judges to be offered in Pennsylvania. The 8 week, 16-hour course is Rule 801-approved and will cover the areas of forensic science most likely to be used in a criminal investigation, particularly in homicides: Forensic Toxicology and Death Investigation Forensic Chemistry Controlled Substances Arson and Explosives Forensic Biology (serology and DNA analysis) Trace Evidence and Fingerprint Analysis Forensic Anthropology, Odontology, Entomology Digital Evidence Ethics and Review of the NAS Report Understanding the basics of forensic science is critical for any attorney practicing today, and even more so for those involved in capital litigation. Taught by national leaders in the fields, attendees will learn how scientific techniques work and will get literal hands-on training by conducting their own analyses. The course ends with a 2-hour session on ethics by reviewing the fundamentals outlined in the National Academy of Sciences report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward. Courses will be taught at NMS Laboratories in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. Classes will be on successive Thursdays from 6 8 pm, beginning September 12, Free parking is available on-site and the building is walking distance from the Willow Grove Regional Rail station. Registration is limited to only 30 participants; registration fee is $400 for attorneys in private practice, and $200 for those in public defender or district attorney offices. Course Schedule Week Topic Lecturer 1 (9/12) Forensic Toxicology, Death Investigation Dr. Barry Logan 2 (9/19) Forensic Chemistry (Controlled Substances) Heather Harris 3 (9/26) Arson and Explosives Heather Harris 4 (10/3) Forensic Biology (serology and DNA analysis) Dr. Christian Westring 5 (10/10) Trace Evidence and Fingerprint Analysis Michael Garvey 6 (10/17) Forensic Anthropology, Odontology, Entomology Kimberlee Moran 7 (10/24) Digital Evidence Joseph Pochron 8 (10/31) Ethics and Review of the NAS Report Jules Epstein, Esq.

2 Lecture Outline Forensic Toxicology and Death Investigation Forensic toxicology is the study of poisons and toxins in biological fluids. This lecture will discuss the specific techniques used by toxicologists in the analysis of serum, blood, urine, oral fluid, etc. for drugs and chemicals. This will include a review of sample preparation, analytical instrumentation and toxicological interpretation of drug levels. The final portion of this lecture will focus on medicolegal death investigation practices and how this impacts cases in court. Forensic Chemistry (Controlled Substances) Forensic chemistry involves the identification of unknown nonbiological trace evidence at crime scenes by matching these samples to known substances. The lecture will discuss the various steps involved in analysis of chemical substances including microchemical color tests, thin layer chromatography, and analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry as well as the results produced from each test. Discussions will include uncertainties involved with the analysis and the importance of accuracy, precision, and most importantly ethics (15 min), in forensic chemistry. Arson and Explosives Arson investigation involves the examination of fire debris that may contain residues of accelerants. Debris is often placed in airtight containers to decrease the loss of volatile compounds before being analyzed on the gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer. This half of the lecture will focus on the proper analysis of potential arson scene evidence for the presence of accelerants, including the use of activated charcoal for concentrating the accelerants. Potential explosive material can also be analyzed by chemists in order to interpret the contents of suspected incendiary or bomb devices. The steps involved in this type of analysis along with challenges involved will be reviewed. Forensic Biology Forensic biologists are involved in the examination of various bodily fluids including blood, saliva, semen, vaginal fluid, urine and feces as well as their subsequent analysis for the determination of DNA profiles. This lecture will involve the discussion of serological analyses that result in the determination of the consistency of the unknown samples with biological fluids followed by the detailed description of DNA analysis. This will also involve an in-depth review of the statistical interpretation of DNA results and their meaning. Finally, ethics (15 min) and proper techniques involved specifically in the analysis of touch DNA will be covered.

3 Trace Evidence and Fingerprint Analysis Trace evidence generally involves the microscopic analysis of physical evidence identified and collected at crime scenes. This analysis can involve the investigation of fiber types, hairs, paint, glass, soil, and any other debris that may be recovered. Trace evidence analysis will be reviewed including information regarding the weight trace evidence can hold in court and the value of certain trace evidence. This lecture will also review fingerprint analysis and the steps involved in determining a match or non-match for suspects. Forensic Anthropology, Odontology, Entomology Forensic anthropology involves the application of the methods and techniques of analyzing skeletal remains to cases of legal importance. This lecture will discuss various information that can be derived from the analysis of remains found at a crime scene, including both bones and other artifacts of interest. The study of teeth and specific insects will also be included in this discussion to show the valuable assets these different disciplines can provide to assist in forensic investigations of crimes. Digital Evidence Digital evidence can be any information stored or transmitted in digital form that has probative value in a court case. Based on the technological advances in recent years, the amount of this type of evidence has truly skyrocketed and is being used in court much more often. This lecture will discuss various types of digital evidence that can be used in court and what types of probative value these pieces of information can truly provide to support a case. This will include an overview of the protocols used to retrieve digital information, back them up, and demonstrate that they are authentic and have not been tampered with. Ethics and Review of the NAS Report Specifically in forensic science, personnel are expected to pay close attention to detail during all steps of sample analysis in order to ensure the information collected is authentic and hasn t been mishandled, tampered, or falsified in any way. This lecture will cover how results should be interpreted in the courtroom setting without inflating the meaning. Ethical representation of all data is essential to ensure that information isn t misconstrued (1.5 hrs). Also, in 2009 the National Academy of Sciences published a report entitled Strengthening Forensic Sciences: A Path Forward. This document has led to increased efforts into standardizing practices and guidelines for interpretation of data and sample handling. This report will be overviewed as it stresses the importance of ethical considerations in the field of forensic science.

4 Speaker Information Dr. Barry Logan Dr. Barry Logan is a graduate of the University of Glasgow in Scotland graduating with degrees in chemistry and forensic toxicology. Dr. Logan joined NMS Labs in 2008 as the National Director of Forensic and Toxicological Services. He is board certified by the American Board of Forensic Toxicologists, has over eighty publications in toxicology and analytical chemistry, and is currently the President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Jules Epstein - Jules Epstein is Associate Professor at Widener University School of Law, specializing in criminal law and evidence. Nationally, Professor Epstein has served on several workgroups involving issues in forensics, especially DNA and, more recently, latent prints. He serves as faculty for the National Judicial College, teaching courses to judges in advanced evidence and capital case law. Most recently, Professor Epstein was a co-editor for Scientific Evidence Review: Admissibility and the Use of Expert Evidence in the Courtroom, Monograph No. 9, a publication of the American Bar Association s Section of Science & Technology Law. Michael Garvey Michael Garvey is the Director of the Office of Forensic Science for the City of Philadelphia, as well as a Deputy Managing Director for the City. Director Garvey graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science with a B.S. in Biology and minor in Sociology and the George Washington University with an M.S. in Forensic Science, concentrating in serology and molecular biology. The first civilian to head the Office of Forensic Science, Mr. Garvey served the US Government for approximately 15 years as a scientific expert and manager in both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency. Director Garvey participates in numerous national forensic organizations and is the Chairperson of the Major City Chiefs Association s Forensic Science Committee. Heather Harris Heather Harris is an independent forensic science consultant, expert witness, and a PA licensed attorney working in the areas of criminal and regulatory drug law. Ms. Harris holds a Master of Forensic Science degree from The George Washington University where she concentrated in the areas of forensic chemistry and toxicology and she also received her law degree from Temple University s Beasley School of Law.

5 Kimberlee Moran Kimberlee Moran has been a forensic consultant and educator since She holds an undergraduate degree in archaeology from Bryn Mawr College and a Masters of Science in forensic archaeological science from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London. She is an active member of the Society for American Archaeology, the UK Fingerprint Society, the Association for Women in Forensic Science, and Forensic Archaeology Recovery. Joseph Pochron Joseph Pochron is an Upper Saucon Township Detective and is currently the commanding officer of the Officer David M. Petzold Digital Forensics Laboratory of Lehigh County on the campus of DeSales University. He is currently an adjunct professor at DeSales University where he designed a course in digital forensics and improved other courses in the digital track of the master s in criminal justice program by offering training in current forensic software. Dr. Christian Westring Christian Westring is a Forensic Biologist at NMS Labs in the Forensic Biology Unit and is a Professor in Forensic Genetics at Arcadia University. Together with the University of Copenhagen and the Danish National Police, he has also developed several successful training programs on the identification, collection, and preservation of biological evidence. To register contact: Marissa Bluestine, Legal Director - Pennsylvania Innocence Project

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