Next Meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) Tas Branch in Hobart 25 August 2016
As a member, I will be attending the AGM and next meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) (Tas Branch) which is to be held at the New Sydney Hotel at 6 pm on Thursday 25 August 2016. The presenter will be Associate Professor Roberta Julian from the Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies (TILES) at UTAS. Roberta, our current President, will be speaking on "The Effectiveness of Forensic Science in the Criminal Justice System: Critical Issues at the Crime Scene".
Found a very informative article on the possible implications or flow-on effects of the recent overturning of the Brendan Dassey conviction for his uncle, Steven Avery. See the article entitled "'Making a Murderer': What Brendan Dassey Decision Means for Steven Avery" of 16 August 2016 by Amelia McDonell-Parry from Rolling Stone here: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/what-brendan-dassey-decision-means-for-steven-avery-w434421
An article entitled "Judge overturns Dassey conviction in Halbach murder" dated 12 August 2016 from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel can be found here: http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2016/08/12/dassey-wins-ruling-teresa-halbach-murder/88632502/. It contains video clips of Dassey's interrogation and excerpts and a link to the 91 page court judgement.
Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC) 2016 Conference to be Held in Hobart 29 November to 2 December 2016
The 2016 Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC) conference, with the theme "Horizon Criminology", will be held in Hobart at the Hotel Grand Chancellor from 29 November to 2 December 2016. See http://www.anzsoc.org/cms-conferences/index.phps
The New York Times reported on 12 August 2016 that a federal Judge on Friday overturned the murder and sexual assault convictions of Brendan Dassey, one of the defendants in the popular 10 part Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer. See http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/13/us/brendan-dassey-making-a-murderer.html?_r=0. See the ABC's coverage here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-13/netflix-making-a-murderer-brendan-dassey-conviction-overturned/7731450
A question that has often been posed to me is how far can police go in misrepresenting a situation to an accused. For instance, is it ethical to misrepresent an issue of fact in a recorded police interview with a suspect?
The NSW Chapter of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences Inc (AAFS), of which I am a member, will be holding its next meeting on Wednesday 17 August 2016 at 6 pm at The Union University & Schools Club in Sydney. The speaker for the night is Dr Bryan Found, the Chief Forensic Scientist with the Victorian Police Forensic Services Department (VPFSD). Dr Found is also an Adjunct Professor in the Program in Expertise, Evidence and Law, Faculty of Law, at the University of NSW.
Just reading Fruit of the Poisonous Tree: Evidence Derived From Illegally or Improperly Obtained Evidence by Dr Kerri Mellifont (Federation Press 2010). The book deals with what is called "derivative" evidence. Mellifont defines that term to mean evidence derived from primary evidence and primary evidence in turn is defined to mean evidence directly obtained by means of illegal or improper conduct of law enforcement officials.
An article in The Canberra Times dated 5 August 2016 advises that David Eastman's appeal to prevent a retrial for the shooting murder of AFP Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester will be heard by 3 Victorian Supreme Court judges in Canberra. See http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/david-eastmans-appeal-to-prevent-colin-winchester-murder-retrial-will-be-in-canberra-20160805-gqlsbq.html
Just back from Melbourne where I attended the AGM and dinner meeting of the Victorian chapter of the Australian Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) at Melbourne University House last night, Thursday 4 August 2016. The guest speaker for the night was Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton of Victoria Police who spoke "off the cuff" about strategic issues in policing and forensic science (although I understand a copy of his formal speech is likely to be made available). I was able to ask a few questions from the floor on positive developments in the governance and resourcing of the National Institute of Forensic Science (NIFS) and the three main challenges facing forensic science in Australia.