Editorial: A Glance Over the Shoulder

As this issue of the magazine drops onto your desk, it probably finds you settling comfortably into 2015… but for a moment I thought it would be worthwhile to glance back over our shoulders at 2014.

We started off in February 2014 with the first meeting of the National Commission on Forensic Science in Washington, D.C. The 37-member group—consisting of federal, state, and local forensic science service providers; research scientists and academics; law enforcement professionals; prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges; and other stakeholders from across the United States—began working toward the goal of enhancing the practice and improving the reliability of forensic science.
Also at that meeting, the commission was briefed on the formation of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC). This new entity, which saw a good deal of action during the second half of 2014 with the appointment of members to five area committees and 23 subcommittees, is set to take over where Scientific Working Groups (SWG) left off. The OSAC’s primary purpose is to support and continue to develop standards for the various forensic science disciplines.
In the area of biometric identification, the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system—the successor to the 15-year-old Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS)—became fully operational on September 7, 2014 and, in turn, IAFIS was officially decommissioned. You can read more about the NGI features on Page 10 of this issue.
The year saw investments and initiatives put into play years ago coming together to produce visible results. What will be changing in 2015? We’ll keep our eyes forward and let you know.
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Evidence Technology Magazine
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Court Case Update

FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE went through a nearly three-year ordeal in the New Hampshire court system, but eventually emerged unscathed. On April 4, 2008, the New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision of a lower court to exclude expert testimony regarding fingerprint evidence in the case of The State of New Hampshire v. Richard Langill. The case has been remanded back to the Rockingham County Superior Court.