Thursday, September 18, 2014

The U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS); What's going on here, Gibbs? A Defence Dept. report on military probes of child sexual assault has faulted NCIS for inadequate crime scene investigations. (This can't possibly be true, Gibbs. I love the show. HL);

COUNTDOWN: 14  days to Wrongful Conviction Day: (Thursday October 2, 2014);

REPORT:  "Evaluation of military criminal investigative organizations child sexual assault investigations,"  published by the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defence, September, 2014.

GIST: The Naval Criminal Investigative  Service (NCIS)  is one of the organizations reviewed to determine if their sexual assault investigations were in accordance with guiding policies and procedures.  (The other two organizations are the CID, The United States Army Criminal Investigation Department, and the AFOSI, Aid Force Office of Special Investigations. )  The reviewers examined 163 military criminal investigations of  child sexual assaults  closed in 2012. As a huge fan of the television serial NCIS I was alarmed to discover that NCIS came under fire from the reviewers  who noted that  of  the 163 cases, 19 percent of NCIS cases (10 of 54) had “evidence deficiencies." Moreover, they found that a total of 11 NCIS investigations (20%) lacked a crime scene examination  or validations. (NCIS explained to the reviewers that  “NCIS  policy regarding crime scene processing for sexual assault cases  uses the word “should” throughout its policy which is neither mandatory nor directive in nature. As such, the lack of crime scene examinations or validations did not violate NCIS policy." Horrors! Until now, I had rested under the impression that NCIS left no inch unexplored in its exploration - and that the public was well-served by its  erstwhile investigators. NCIS responds, to its credit,  that it is currently revising policy regarding child sexual  assault investigations and evidence collection procedures to include the identification and collection of clothing, and digital, electronic, and storage evidence. That's good.  But the next I watch NCIC - probably tonight - I will be  asking Agent Gibbs, "What on earth is going on?"

FOOTNOTE:  A total of 10 of 163 cases (6 %) were found by the reviewers to have "serious deficiencies" including: Key evidence was not collected from the crime scene, the victim, or the subject;  Crime scene investigations were not completed, not completed thoroughly, or not completed before the loss of crucial evidence. Victim was not medically examined; Witness interviews were not thorough or not conducted; and, subject and victim interviews or reinterviews were not thorough or not conducted. (Why hasn't this report received more public attention? Over to you Fox News!) HL); 

The entire report can be found at:

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