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Articles by Michael Fortino, Ph.D

Microbiome: The Latest in Cutting Edge Forensics

by Michael Fortino

One week after the attacks of September 11, 2001, letters containing anthrax were mailed to several news outlets, and to the offices of two U.S. Senators, forcing the FBI to seek new and innovative methods to determine who might be behind this most recent domestic terroristic act. ...

Excited Delirium Syndrome: Pseudo-Scientific Shield for Law Enforcement’s Violent Behavior

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

By the time Denver Police Department (“DPD”) officers handcuffed Anthony Sleets on July 7, 2021, he was already having a bad day. He had passed out in a hotel parking lot after what he thinks must have been an assault—he awoke to find he’d been sprayed ...

New Mexico Abolishes Qualified Immunity

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

Although many states across the nation continue to harbor and protect their employees from liability lawsuits—even in cases where the civil servant proved negligent or acted with reckless disregard—some, more progressive states, have taken the lead on litigation reform. New Mexico recently joined the ranks of ...

Study: Bloodstain Pattern Analyses Display Alarming Lack of Accuracy

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

In the summer of 2000, after discovering his wife and two small children fatally shot in the family’s car inside their garage, former Indiana State Trooper David Camm was arrested and charged with the murders based entirely on the opinion of an expert that bloodstains on ...

Ohio, Now 24th State to End LWOP for Juveniles

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

In a long-awaited state enactment, Ohio Governor, Mike Dewine, signed into law, SB 256 which, among other provisions, bans sentences for life without parole (“LWOP”) and retroactively alters parole eligibility for minors sentenced to exceedingly long terms of imprisonment.

“The signing of SB 256 means everything ...

DNA Standards Often Make the Difference Between Life and Death

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

DNA analysis standards can make the difference between misleading results and the truth behind a crime, so much so, that this highly sensitive analysis is often the deciding factor in ruling life or death for many capital murder suspects. Obviously, science needs to get it right ...

Study Shows Public Defenders Outperform Court Appointed Private Attorneys

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

Defendants, put your checkbooks away. The age-old assumption that private defense attorneys provide a more comprehensive and effective defense than do public defenders may simply not be true.

A February 2021 analysis initiated by Maggie Bailey, Graduate Research Assistant at the University of North Carolina School ...

Investigative Report Highlights Difficulties in Disciplining Cops

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

Can you imagine a community where police abuse arbitration hearings and misconduct cases resulted in costs to taxpayers numbering in the millions of dollars, only to realize that these same unruly and abusive officers, though found guilty, are not only rehired back by the very police ...

Digital Dogs, New Technology Designed to Sniff-Out Crime

If you thought criminal investigations have gone to the dogs, you might be right—digital dogs. Forensic science has now perfected an advanced “crime-sniffing” technology that can detect, at the molecular level, deadly viruses, illegal drugs, and even bomb-making chemical compounds. These digital dogs however have such a ...

The People Have Spoken: Clemency Appointments Should Follow the Will of the People

Executive Clemency, the process of granting a modified or revised prison sentence at the behest of the Office of the President of the United States, continues to be a largely overlooked and underutilized path toward reversing punitive mass incarceration despite the fact that there remains bi-partisan ...



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