Saturday, September 27, 2008

Detroit Crime Lab Shut Down

From the AP:

DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit police crime lab was shut down by the city's new mayor and police chief after an outside audit found errors in some evidence used to prosecute cases involving murder and other crimes, officials said Thursday.

Wrongful convictions are a possibility, according to the audit, conducted by the Michigan State Police. Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy also noted that some criminals may have gone uncharged because of the lab's shortcomings.

"We have no idea how many people are walking around that have committed crimes that we don't know about," said Worthy, who blamed the problems on human error, as well as a lack of funding, resources and training.

The audit found erroneous or false findings in 10 percent of 200 random cases and subpar quality control compliance at the lab, Worthy said.

I'm glad this action was taken since the problem in this lab will have impacted all those who are innocent, be they crime victims or defendants. With this level of error it's likely that some crime victims were falsely considered to have filed false police reports because the lab results contradicted the victims testimony.

Any corrective measure needs to look at all the ways these errors could impact criminal cases and should seek to undo all these wrongs. If people were acquitted because of lab errors that needs to be noted and the victims who were denied justice should be compensated for this error.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:51 AM   0 comments links to this post

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