This blog will mainly focus on crime in and around Southwest Missouri....Winner Of Springfield Blogger's Association: ROOKIE BLOG OF THE YEAR 2009--WINNER News or Current Events Blog Of The Year 2010
Galena, Mo.- Stone County Judge Alan Blankenship was awarded an ASTAR fellowship award this week by Missouri Supreme Court Justice Zel Fischer.
The ASTAR award (Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource) is given to judges who have completed 120 hours of court-related science and technology classes and obtained the acquired skills to become an ASTAR judge.
ASTAR judges are trained in scientific and advanced genetic technologies, computer forensics and cybercrime, DNA science, and advanced forensic technologies.
“ASTAR judges are evidence gatekeepers,” Fischer said. “They assure that valid methodology underscores the evidence and assures evidentiary fitness in all trials involving complex or novel scientific and technical information. This training will not make judges experts in these fields, but it will allow judges to be more sensitive to the nuances of complex scientific issues and help them to better perform judicial duties as it relates to admissibility of evidence.”
There are only a handful of judges throughout the state of Missouri who are qualified to hear these types of cases. “Judges who have earned this award will take case assignments as well as help plan and develop educational programs for other judges,” Fischer said. “They will help train non-ASTAR judges, serve as a resource about various scientific topics in cases, and act as liaisons to law schools, bar associations and the public.”
“The real works of courts is done by staff,” Blankenship said.
“It was a great honor and very kind of Judge Fischer to personally present the award here in Stone County.”