Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Crime Lab Shenanigans

From the NY Times:
The New York State Police’s supervision of a major crime laboratory was so poor that it overlooked evidence of pervasively shoddy forensics work, allowing an analyst to go undetected for 15 years as he falsified test results and compromised nearly one-third of his cases, an investigation by the state’s inspector general has found.

The analyst’s training was so substandard that at one point last year, investigators discovered he could not properly operate a microscope essential to performing his job, the report released on Thursday said.

And when the State Police became aware of the analyst’s misconduct, an internal review by superiors in the Albany lab deliberately omitted information implicating other analysts and suggesting systemic problems with the way evidence was handled, the report said. Instead, the review focused blame mostly on the analyst, Garry Veeder, who committed suicide in May 2008 during the internal inquiry.

This sort of thing goes on all the time and will continue until we get serious about testing these labs. The only reform that could stop this kind of abuse is rigorous, regular testing by an outside body. All the talk about the "highest standards" is meaningless without blind tests.

No comments: