In 1930, the French scientist Edmond Locard published a journal article in which he laid the groundwork for what would become the field of forensic science. Locard said a criminal actor will always leave traces of his or her presence at a crime scene and will always leave with traces of the scene on his…

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has vacated and remanded the sentence of a convicted child pornographer. Jason Daniel Scott pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography and was sentenced to 108 months of imprisonment and lifetime supervised release. As part of his supervision, Scott was not allowed to…

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Wrongful convictions are a well-known phenomena in the United States; the administration of one of the world’s largest criminal justice systems virtually guarantees mistakes and failures. Famous cases such as that of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who was framed for murder and spent 20 years in prison, and whose case was made into a movie, have…

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By Christopher Zoukis Daniel Gristwood was a 29-year-old printer when he was arrested for the attempted murder of his wife on January 12, 1996. He initially confessed to the crime, and was convicted in New York state court based on that confession. Gristwood was sentenced to 12.5 years to 25 years in prison. During his…

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By Christopher Zoukis The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has taken the unusual step of reversing a prison disciplinary board’s finding that a prisoner was guilty of committing a prohibited act. Timothy W. Austin was a prisoner at an Indiana prison when he was found guilty of attempting to traffic in…

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By Chris Zoukis In an unusual turn of events, a former prisoner was appointed to Connecticut’s Parole Board. While ex-prisoners are typically not considered as parole board members, state officials decided that Kenneth F. Ireland was a qualified candidate. In 1989, when he was 18 years old, Ireland was convicted of raping and murdering Barbara…

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By Christopher Zoukis In a rare public rebuke of a prosecutor found to have engaged in a “deliberate pattern of misconduct,” the Connecticut Appellate Court vacated a defendant’s murder conviction based on the prosecutor’s improper remarks during closing arguments. Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Terence D. Mariani, Jr. was chided in an opinion by Judge Michael…

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