High Error Rates in State Crime Labs Lead to False Convictions

One of the the problems I face when dealing with state crime labs is that the average judge or juror sees them as being actually infallible and wholly scientific.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  The fact of the matter is that these crime labs are about as scientific as a tenth grade chemistry lab.  The “scientists” may be wearing lab coats, but in terms of validated and legitimate science they are really just winging it and hoping to come up with a good result.

His experiments are probably more scientific than what is going on in government crime labs.

His experiments are probably more scientific than what is going on in government crime labs.

Simply put: following scientific standards is not their priority.

Here is a prime example of this.  The government crime lab in Indianapolis was so reckless that one out  of three of its positive cocaine test results were not conducted in accordance with acceptable scientific standards:

Drug test error rate raises worry about wrongful convictions

INDIANAPOLIS — An audit of Indiana’s embattled state drug-testing lab has found that nearly a third of its positive cocaine test results were not conducted in accordance with acceptable scientific standards, adding to concerns about possible wrongful convictions.

The independent audit of positive cocaine test results issued by the Indiana Department of Toxicology found that 32 percent — nearly 1 in 3 — failed to meet acceptable scientific criteria

Most of the reported cases were, in fact DUI cases, where the blood test evidence is the prime evidence in the case.  Many times, blood testing evidence is seen as “an automatic conviction” so having a false positive will most likely land an innocent person in jail.  This is happening everyday in crime labs across the country we just don’t know about it. This Indianapolis incident is not an isolated incident. It is an isolated discovery of a non-isolated incident.

This is why it is absolutely imperative that you have a qualified DUI defense attorney who is an expert in DUI blood testing examine your case.  The attorneys at The McShane Firm have discovered many instances where blood testing was done improperly and used that information to win  cases for their clients.

For a free consultation, please call 1-866-MCSHANE.

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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