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Report Writingand the drafting of standards bythe National Commission on Forensic Science
Reporting and Testimony Subcommittee
Inaugural MeetingConference CallApril 30, 2014
Membership
Ms. Rebecca Brown, The Innocence ProjectMr. MikeCariola, CEO & President, Bode Technology**Dr. Jamie Downs, M.D., Forensic Pathologist,forensXLLC**Mr. Jules Epstein, Professor of Law, Widener UniversityMr. Paul Giannelli, Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve UniversityHon. Barbara Hervey, Judge, Texas Court of Criminal AppealsMs. SusanHowley, Director of Public Policy, Nat’l. Center for Victims of CrimeMs. Linda Jackson, Director, Virginia Department of Forensic Science**Dr. LarryKobilinsky, Professor & Chair, Dept. of Sciences, John Jay College**Mr. JohnKacavas, United States Attorney, District of New HampshireMs. Pam King, Assistant State Public Defender, State of MinnesotaMr. GeraldLaPorte, Acting Director, Office of Investigative and Forensic Services, NIJ, OJP**Ms. Julia Leighton, General Counsel, Public Defender Service, District of ColumbiaMr. ThomasMcShane, President, Guidepost Solutions, LLCMr. Peter Neufeld, Co-director, Innocence ProjectMr. Phil Pulaski, Chief, Detective Bureau, NYPD (ret’d.)Hon. JedRakoff, U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York (Co-Chair)Mr. Matt Redle, County and Prosecuting Attorney, Sheridan County, Wyoming (Co-Chair)Ms.ShannanWilliams, NISTMs. Charlotte Word, Consultant in Human DNA and paternity testing**Ms. PaulaWulff, Office of General Counsel, FBI Laboratory, USDOJ
Working Groups within the Sub-Committee
Legal IssuesTerminologyProbabilistic StatementsEvidence PreservationReport Content
Members of the Report Content Working Group
Julia Leighton, General Counsel, Public Defense Services, Washington, D.C.Phil Pulaski, Chief of Detectives (ret’d.), NYPD, New York, New YorkPeter Neufeld, Attorney and Co-Director, The Innocence Project, New York, New YorkLinda Jackson, Director, Virginia Department of Forensic Science
Sources Examined
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure [Rule 16]National Academy of Sciences ReportISO/IEC 17025Accrediting BodiesA2LAASCLD-LABFQSLAB
Sources Examined[con’t.]
ASTM E620ASTM E2327DAB QASSWGANTHSWGFASTSWGFEXSWGDRUGSWGMAT
Sources Examined[con’t.]
NIST NIJNAME ChecklistNAME StandardsNY Standards
Issues
Contents of Report v. Contents of Case FileItems required to be contained in the case fileReport Comment re existence of case file and it contentsReporting of Condition of Items ReceivedReferences used to Augment or Formulate Opinions and Conclusions
Report Format and Organization
Administrative information – Personnel, TrackingRequests of Submitting AgencySummary of the work performedMethods EmployedData, Observations and ResultsConclusions and OpinionsReference Material cited and/or considered
Speed Bumps
Some aspects require coordination with OSACet al.E.g.,Efforts at formulating uniform terminology“Interpretation” v. “Conclusion” v. “Opinion”Declarations of “match” and limitationsDeclarations of “consistency”and limitations
The Discussion Points
Uniformity - Big Differences Exist in Ways Information Reported by DisciplinesConsistent terminology across disciplinesReport Content – What Information Should be Included?What Information is appropriate for Bench Notes/Case File?What information should be written down?Should it be recorded contemporaneouslyIs this distinction important as long as there is a means of gaining access?Should there be some form of disclaimer in the report regarding existence of other data or information?
The Discussion Points
Report Content – What Information Should be Included? (continued)Is Rule 26 (a)(2), Fed. Rules Civ. Procedure, a good model for report content and testimony?Requires:Disclosure of identity of any expert witness.Contemporaneous with the disclosure, provide a written report, signed and prepared by the witness, which contains:1. A complete statement of all opinions the witness will express.a. The basis and reasons for them;b. Facts or data considered in forming the opinions, bases or reasons;c. Any exhibits to be used to summarize the opinions, bases or reasons.The witness’s qualificationsa. Including all publications authored during the previous 10 years.
The Discussion Points
Report Content – What Information Should be Included? (continued)Is Rule 26 (a)(2), Fed. Rules Civ. Procedure, a good model for report content and testimony?Requires:Disclosure of identity of any expert witness.Contemporaneous with the disclosure, provide a written report, signed and prepared by the witness, which contains (con’t.):3. A list of all other cases in which the witness has testified as an expert during the previous 4 years.4. Statement of compensation paid.Provides for:Timing of Disclosure by parties.Supplementation of Disclosure.Experts retained as consultants only.Should we consider two tiers of reporting detail requirements? Preliminary Reports and Trial Reports.
Discussion Points
Concluding PointsNeed to Train Examiners and AnalystsEthical Issues relating to ReportsDue Process issues such asBradyNote:Is it more effective to approach these issues from a scientifically based culture which values a peer review process rather than a legally based culture of advocacy balanced by due process?Requests for Reports and Reporting StandardsNIST/NIJ, Latent Print Examination and Human Factors (2012)http://www.nist.gov/oles/upload/latent.pdfWH-OSTP-SoFS, Reporting Document –LaporteDocument (Unfinished)Reporting Standards ISO 17025ASCLD-LAB International Supplemental Requirements for Accreditation for Forensic Testing Laboratories (2011)ASCLD-LAB policy: Reporting Uncertainty of Measurement (2013)ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, 3rdEdition – DNA Evidence
OtherResources
Spreadsheet of Report Requirements or Recommendations (20 bodies including Federal Rules, NAS, ISO, ILAC Guide 19, [Accrediting bodies] A2LA, ASCLD-LAB, FQS, LAB, ASTM E620, ASTM E2327, DAB QA, SWGANTH, SWGFAST, SWGFEX, SWGDRUG, SWGMAT, NIST-NIJ, NAME Checklist, NAME StandardsA draft Analysis of Reporting for theSoFScontaining sample content for Autopsy Reports; Firearms report, Latent Fingerprint Report, Nuclear DNA report
Moving Forward
Committee (and Commission) membersSubmit reports or materials they believe useful.Circulate ideas and substantive suggestions that we might wish to adopt even early on.JudgeRakoffand myself, intend to circulate a plan of attack by the end of the month.Questions? Comments?
Reporting and Testimony Subcommittee
Inaugural MeetingConference CallApril 30, 2014
Reporting and Testimony Subcommittee
Inaugural MeetingConference CallApril 30, 2014

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Report Writing and the drafting of standards by the ...