The Legal Investigator The Legal Investigator, Vol. 36, Issue 4 : Page 5

teams “should vigorously challenge fingerprints, bullet identification, handwriting and other trace evidence and prosecutors should be prepared to show that it is valid.” There are inherent risks in making the assumption that the evidence collection, handling, testing and reporting processes are done accurately. Crime laboratories are loosely regulated. In 2005, a US News & World Report article quoted the U.S. Justice Department as saying that “roughly 30 percent of the publically funded crime labs operating in the United States today have no certification.”(2) According to the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors website, as of Nov. 11, 2011, only 387 crime labs were accredited by the ASCLD. This is a small number considering the vast number of crime labs are in thousands of jurisdictions in the country. The website has a searchable database of accredited labs for all 50 states and some foreign countries. They also list labs which have had their accreditation revoked, suspended, are on probation or voluntarily withdrawn their accreditation. Footnotes (1) “Real life CSI Effects, Stephen Gustitis, The Defense Perspective, 11/26/07. (2) Kit R. Roane, US News and World Report, 4/25/05. — Kathleen Cunningham, Medical Investigator, Certified Medical Legal Consultant, Great Falls, Montana, 406-788-1135. Kathleen Cunningham is a medical investigator with almost 20 years experience in the field. Ten of those years were spent working full time for Gerry Spence’s firm in Wyoming. She became Certified in Medical Legal Consulting in 2002. She has been a NALI member since 2006. She has published articles in PI Magazine, Stroke Magazine (an American Heart Association Journal) and The Journal of Healthcare Protection Management. She is an independent consultant, living and working in Great Falls, Montana. Resources for Forensics Information American Academy of Forensic Sciences American Academy of Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission American Association for Laboratory Accreditation American Board of Criminalistics American Board of Forensic Anthropology American Board of Forensic Document Examiners American Board of Forensic Entomology American Board of Forensic Odontology American Board of Forensic Toxicology American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigation American College of Forensic Examiners International American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors American Society of Questioned Document Examiners Association of Firearms and Tool Mark Examiners Association of Forensic Quality Assurance Managers Bloodstain Pattern Examiner Certification Board Board of Forensic Document Examiners Clandestine Laboratory Investigating Chemists Association Crime Scene Certification Board Federal Bureau of Investigation publication, “Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories” Footwear Certification Board Forensic Art Certification Board Forensic Science Consortium Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board Forensic Specialties Certification Board Forensic Photography Certification Board International Association for Identification International Board for Engineering Sciences Latent Print Certification Board Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists National Association of Forensic Counselors National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology & the Law National Institute of Justice publication, “Education and Training in Forensic Science: A Guide for Forensic Science Laboratories, Educational Institutions and Students” (full text available online) National White Collar Crime Center Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists Northwestern Association of Forensic Scientists Society of Forensic Toxicologists Southern Association of Forensic Scientists Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists Tenprint Fingerprint Certification Board 7 winter 2012

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