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An expert opining on DNA evidence must be correct … right?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2017 | Firm News

What exactly is a “crime lab corruptocrat?”

According to National Review criminal law columnist Michelle Malkin, it is one of the “forensic fraudsters and fakers” who manipulate or otherwise take actions that materially taint crime lab-based evidence that is used in criminal trials to wrongly send innocent persons to prison and, sometimes, even to their death.

And how frightening and unconscionable is that?

Malkin does more than imply that “junk science” is an occasional and largely controlled problem in criminal laboratories operating across the country. She contends, rather, that the flawed results flowing out of such facilities spell a “crisis” for America.

And, indeed, it seems reasonably hard to argue with her in light of actions taken by one chemist that were deemed so egregious — forged signatures, purposefully tainted drug samples and more — that they resulted in more than 21,000 drug cases being dismissed in one state. Malkin points, too, to a case where crime lab-related evidence taint might yield another 10,000-plus case dismissals.

Malkin calls the problem — an integrity issue inherent in America’s drug labs, if you will — “long-festering and systemic,” and says that it is yielding “monstrous miscarriages of justice against innocent people.”

To whatever degree it is doing so, it must of course be corrected, given the bedrock notion of fundamental fairness and taint-free proceedings in the American criminal justice system.

Arkansas residents and citizens of every state equally share a rightful expectation that, should the day ever come when they become suspects in a criminal matter, the process that awaits them will not be marred by incompetence or corruption.

And that perhaps holds especially true with DNA-based and other forensic evidence, which is often given a free ride by a public that widely concedes it a perceived legitimacy and accuracy not readily accorded other types of evidence.


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