April 28, 2003

Labs cut corners - evidence tainted

An audit of the testing and procedures in a Ft. Worth lab has shown inaccuracies in scientific results. One scientist is fired from Fort Worth police crime lab.

That lab is so screwed up that they have to have somebody to pin it on, that they can fire and say, 'Look, OK, we got rid of her, and now we're going to rebuild," Karla Carmichael said. "I stand by my work. How we got there, we now know, is messed up, and looking back, we were just flying by the seat of our pants. But the results and the data that came out of the lab are good."

Combining this with recent news about inaccuracies in testing results in the FBI lab unit that analyzes DNA and in the Houston Police Department lab, one has to wonder if we are to trust DNA evidence. Has this supposed great new evidentiary device that was hoped to be the savior of the innocent by confirming identities of actors from minute items of evidence (hair, semen, blood, skin cells, etc.) found at scenes of crimes been so sloppily handled that innocent people are being convicted on the basis of faulty testing? How can we be assured that it will be handled properly in the future?

Posted by Tiger at April 28, 2003 02:23 AM