Posts Tagged ‘Idaho’

Victim tracking of rape kits

April 9, 2019

An increasing number of states have laws establishing rape kit tracking systems, as reported here. At least 17 states now have such laws, with 5 others pending this year. A key feature of the systems, besides helping officials track cases and reduce backlogs, is empowering victims to monitor the status of evidence collected from them. Advocates argue this “provides a degree of transparency and accountability that, until now, had been notoriously absent from sexual-assault cases.”

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DNA errors

September 27, 2018

DNA evidence is widely regarded as iron-clad. Particularly when the evidence is a mixture from several people, however, crime labs are prone to make errors, according to this op-ed column. In one study, 74 out of 105 labs incorrectly implicated an innocent person in a test sample, and the labs’ calculations of probability statistics varied hugely. Independent reanalysis of DNA has recently led courts to overturn 5 convictions. Efficient methods are now available for reanalysis of DNA mixtures in past cases, but labs and prosecutors do not seem anxious to adopt them.

Best & worst states to be a cop

May 9, 2018

This article from WalletHub assesses 25 different factors to rate the 50 states plus DC on the desirability of police employment. Criteria include cost of living, salaries, crime rate, and public image. The top 3 are North Dakota, New York, and Connecticut. The bottom 3 are Arkansas, Louisiana, and Idaho. Click the “Ask the Experts” link for a variety of perspectives — the comments from William Vizzard are short and to the point.

Oregon vs. Minnesota on decertification

October 11, 2017

This article provides a detailed comparison of police licensing and decertification practices in Oregon and Minnesota. The system in Oregon is considered one of the best for transparency, thoroughness, and regularly updating; the state “dedicates a lot of energy and a lot of time to police our own” according to one sheriff.

Western “constitutional” sheriffs

February 4, 2016

This article recounts the rise of so-called “constitutional” sheriffs in the Western U.S. who resist federal initiatives and sometimes actively interfere with federal law enforcement officials. These sheriffs, said to number over 200, have established their own networks and are often linked to citizen groups and political movements associated with state’s rights, 2nd amendment rights, and opposition to land management and environmental protections.

Fatal encounters and military veterans

January 2, 2013

Yesterday, David Couper posted the story of Wauwatosa (Wisconsin) police officer, Jennifer Sebena, age 30, tragically murdered on Christmas Eve by her husband, an Iraq war veteran. In a follow-up today, Chief Mike Masterson of Boise, Idaho describes some efforts made by his agency to help returning veterans and, hopefully, avoid fatal encounters.