Greg Taylor holds up his release papers after he was unanimously exonerated by a three-judge panel in Raleigh, N.C., in 2010. Taylor, who had been in prison since 1993 for murder, is now suing several people who worked at a crime lab, claiming their erroneous findings landed him in jail.
Three years ago, a report from the National Academy of Sciences exposed serious problems in the nation's forensic science community. It found not only a lack of peer-reviewed science in the field, but also insufficient oversight in crime laboratories.
Little has changed since that report came out, but concerns are growing as scandals keep surfacing at crime labs across the country.
A pilot program in Mississippi requires low-income parents who receive subsidized child care to submit to biometric finger scans like this one, at Northtown Child Development Center in Jackson. Some parents and day care workers say the rule is unnecessary and discriminatory, but state officials say it will save money and prevent fraud.
Some Mississippi parents are learning a new routine when they drop their kids off at day care centers that are taking part in a new pilot program aimed at combating fraud and saving the state money.
Under the program, the state scans parents' fingerprints to capture biometric information, and that information is turned into a number. Then, at a day care center, parents dropping off or picking up their kids put their fingers on a pad, and a small keyboard records the exact time a child is checked in or out.
Since an escalation in fighting between Gaza and Israel last week, there have been more than 100 casualties on Gaza's side of the border. On Israel's there have been three. That low death count in Israel, despite many rockets fired into its territory, is thanks largely to the Israeli "Iron Dome" air defense system. For more on how that system works, Robert Siegel speaks with Barbara Opall-Rome, Israel bureau chief for Defense News.
In Colorado and Washington, voters recently approved measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Supporters say legalization will generate tax revenue, move the trade into the open, and free up law enforcement resources.
New York City lost almost 10,000 trees from the winds of Superstorm Sandy and the nor'easter that followed. That's far more trees lost in the city than in any other storm for which tree damage was recorded.
Walking through Central Park, Ken Chaya peers past a stone arch, observing the damage and uprooting of about 800 trees. He knows more about the park's trees than just about anybody else; he created a map that charts every single one of the roughly 20,000 trees.
Imagine going to college and finding an oil rig on campus. That's becoming increasingly likely as oil and gas companies use a controversial technique commonly referred to as fracking to extract resources from land underneath campuses across the country.
Environmental science professor Jeffery Stone will never forget the day the earth shook on Indiana State University's campus in Terre Haute.
"They did it like in eight-second pulses, and you could feel the whole sidewalk wobble like an earthquake almost," Stone says.
Presidential pardons usually take the world by surprise. There's no advance notice — the White House just sends out an announcement with the names of those receiving clemency. Thanksgiving is one lighthearted exception.
On Wednesday, President Obama will once again take part in the traditional turkey pardoning at the White House. But while the business of pardoning humans is more serious, it's also increasingly rare.