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NIJ Journal Issue No. 279

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2018
96 pages
Feature articles in this issue pertain to how forensic science is transforming criminal justice.
"Wrongful Convictions and DNA Exonerations: Understanding the Role of Forensic Science" reviews publicly available data on erroneous convictions and summarizes the cases that have cited forensic science as a potential factor. "Using Advanced Imaging Technologies To Enhance Autopsy" argues that in some situations, the use of advanced imaging technologies, such as computed. tomography, prior to or in place of a traditional autopsy could be advantageous in addressing challenges faced by the medico-legal community. "Sexual Assault Cases: Exploring the Importance of Non-DNA Forensic Evidence" reviews cases that show when probative DNA evidence is not available, an accumulation of non-DNA forensic evidence can be critical in obtaining a conviction. "The Next Generation of Crime Tools and Challenges: 3D Printing" explains the technology of 3D printing and describes how crime-scene investigators and forensic examiners have used it in accident reconstruction, replication of crime-scene evidence, and facial reconstruction from unidentified skeletal remains. "Lost But Not Forgotten: Finding the Nation's Missing" profiles the features and benefits of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (Namus), a repository and resource center for the nation's missing and unidentified persons. "Uncertainty Ahead: A Shift in How Federal Scientific Experts Can Testify" discusses implications of a new U.S. Justice Department directive that forensic scientists stop using the phrase "reasonable degree of scientific certainty" in their testimony. "The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the Forensic Sciences" argues that in order to strengthen the forensic sciences, people must be engaged from a broad array of scientific disciplines and backgrounds in achieving innovative solutions to complex criminal justice issues. This journal issue also includes its regular section of summaries of recent NIJ publications.

Date Published: April 1, 2018