Posted by Latest Headlines Michelle Malkin on July 12, 2017 12:09 pm

The crisis in America’s crime labs
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2017

Junk science endangers lives. Forensic junk science in the hands of overzealous prosecutors, ignorant police detectives and reckless experts threatens liberty.

There is a crisis in America’s government-run crime labs — and it’s not just the result of a few rogue operators. The problem is long-festering and systemic.

In April, Massachusetts state crime lab chemist Annie Dookhan made national headlines after investigations and lawsuits over her misconduct prompted the state’s Supreme Judicial Court to order the largest dismissal of criminal convictions in U.S. history.

Prosecutors were forced to dismiss a stunning 21,000-plus drug cases after Dookhan admitted to forging signatures, misleading investigators and purposely contaminating drug samples en masse over nearly a decade. Dookhan pleaded guilty to dozens of charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and tampering with evidence. Hundreds of defendants have had their convictions tossed on appeal.

Despite a district judge concluding that her actions were “nothing short of catastrophic,” Dookhan served a measly three years in prison before being released last spring.

Another Massachusetts state crime lab worker, Sonja Farak, abused her position to pilfer and ingest the drugs she was supposed to be testing over an eight-year period. Instead of cleaning up, two former assistant attorney generals covered up for Farak and misled a judge who last month dismissed several of the cases tainted by the narcotics-addicted lab worker. Upwards of 10,000 prosecutions may eventually be overturned.

The fraudster’s fate? Crackhead and meth junkie Farak received a mere 18-month jail sentence for snorting the evidence, plus 5 years’ probation. The two assistant AGs left their jobs for higher-paying positions in government.

Law journals and scientific publications are filled with similar horror stories that have spread from the New York City medical examiner’s office and

...Read more

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