Police Crime Labs: Lack of Accuracy, Reliability A Nationwide Problem
A Detroit, Michigan on-line news site reported this week that the massive errors found in Detroit Crime lab to be the "tip of the iceberg.| According to the report, the chief prosecutor has identified 147 cases of convicted and imprisoned people that will require the retesting of evidence as part of the investigation into the now - closed Detroit police crime lab â?? unveiling the first of potentially thousands of cases that are at risk of unraveling because of mishandled evidence.
The Detroit crime lab is not alone according to a report by an independent agency, the National Research Council. The report reveals problems in West Virginia where the State Police found more than 100 convictions are in doubt due to repeated evidence being falsified. More than ten convictions have already been overturned. In Oregon, a man settled for two million dollars after the government erroneously said his fingerprints matched those found in the 2004 train bombings in Madrid, Spain. In Maryland, a judge declared fingerprint evidence untested and unverifiable and suppressed the evidence.
I previously have noted in my blog reports of similar errors from around the country. I have also noted the errors in Minnesota as well.
See previous blogs: Defective Breath Test Software Jails Innocent Drivers posted Oct. 2008
Judges Find Washington Crime Lab Untrustworthy posted May 2008
The problem will continue in Minnesota and elsewhere unless and until government officials, judges, prosecutors and citizens stand up to oppose such sloppy government procedures.