Over the past several years, DNA science has made extraordinary progress and its implementation in many criminal cases has both convicted the guilty and exonerated the innocent. A New York Criminal Lawyer has learned that one federal crime lab is struggling to keep its reputation afloat following reports that one of its more senior and experienced forensics examiners not only blotched, DNA tests, but also falsified records.
A worker at the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory, near Atlanta, is being investigated for alleged mistakes that may have allowed the guilty to go free and may have contributed to many to be wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit, sources tell.
Unfortunately, the problem appears to go much deeper than just one worker that was making mistakes and then attempting to cover them up. Sources alleged to a New York City Criminal Lawyer that the forensic examiner’s supervisors were not only slow to recognize his mistakes, but also wanted to keep any investigation of these mistakes in-house so that the facility would not lose its accreditation.
Although there have been many instances where DNA results have been retested by a different examiner, this is not one of those instances. Although there have been many problems with having retesting completed on work this individual had done, the U.S. military does not keep DNA evidence in storage beyond a set time-period. After that time has passed, the DNA is destroyed. This military policy has preempted any testing on the results that would have been possible in a similar situation at a civilian lab.
While the investigation is ongoing, there have been many questions arise in both military prosecution and especially in defense circles as to the validity of some cases of which an individual was convicted due to what may be a faulty DNA analysis. Many military attorneys had not even heard of the issue at the military DNA lab before the story broke. At least one person who was convicted by means of a faulty DNA test did not learn of this issue from the military. Rather he learned of it from another inmate. Many lawsuits have already been filed and more are expected to be filed in the near future.
The offenses discussed here come under the heading of a white collar crime. These types of crimes generally include criminal acts that are committed by someone of higher social status and respectability, and often involve fraudulent activity.
Whether you have been charged with sex crimes, or a DWI offense, or theft charge, it is important to speak to legal counsel without delay. Whether you are guilty or not, a criminal charge can have lasting impact on your life. If convicted, penalties can include jail time, fines, community service and probation.
After an arrest, time is of the essence. If you have been arrested or someone you know is under investigation for a crime, early intervention by an experienced attorney could change the course of your case and might even result in getting your charges dropped or reduced. Speak to Stephen Bilkis and Associates today for advice and a free consultation.