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Posts tagged "crime labs"

California and other crime labs - It's not "Law and Order"

Californians who watch television crime shows might be led to believe that state and federal crime labs are state of the art facilities with forensic scientists who quickly process evidence. The reality is crime labs are generally underfunded with backlogs as long as nine months or more. There are no uniform requirements for forensic lab technicians and many jurisdictions don't require any kind of certification. Defendants who find themselves in conflict with the findings of a crime lab may benefit from a criminal defense attorney. A case in the office of the New York City Medical Examiner shows just how serious these problems can become. Authorities are now reviewing over 800 rape cases because of possible mishandled evidence by a technician. So far, evidence of incompetence has been discovered in 26 cases. This raises the issue of cross-contamination, meaning that DNA from one individual might be matched in error with an innocent party.

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