added 12-1-2016: we can now add the President’s Council on Sci Tech’s forecast of future directions needed within most crime lab methods. Once again the law enforcement “communities” choked on 178 pg report. That would be the FBI, US DOJ, fingerprinters, toolmarkers, District Attorneys and bitemark believers.
This post came out in 2015.
At a recent notable meeting of crime lab managers in DC, the American Society of Crime Lab Directors (aka ASCLD : a police lab certification business) a speaker reveled the audience with multiple accusations of that “in some” exonerations, there is ongoing fraud within within the small (in comparison to the law enforcement and prosecutor industry) community of exoneration litigators.
The theme of the speaker was a vapid announcement that a conspiracy exists within the forensic reform movement and that affiliated national networks of exoneration litigators are intentionally releasing guilty prison inmates to go forth and prey on society. (see this presentation’s summary in today’s news release here). I am sure the speaker used his own funds for this. He is touting the upcoming release of his 10 years of research on wrongful convictions which is titled the “Innocence Audit.”
I am sure the promised paper will be compelling in unexpected ways. What he seems to be doing is self-promoting. Cases contesting the basis of an exoneration is in Chicago and is a total of one. Out of 1200 [added: now up to 1800 by the end of 2016]. How many crime labs scandal have we seen on a monthly basis? 2 a month.
Here is what the ASCLD is all about. Initiated after private conferences with the FBI, the organization grew through the 1990s via assistance from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and later established itself as a corporation in Missouri. (see “history” on the ASCLD website). It is strongly staffed and managed by those law enforcement agencies they now inspect and certify. That is to be expected as the forensic culture is to self-certify itself. This subject been discussed before in the 2009 NAS Report on forensics and is largely evident in the current makeup of the National Commission on Forensic Science.
Here’s the general list of clients and customers from the ASCLD website.
396 crime laboratories are accredited by ASCLD/LAB as of May 6, 2015. The list of accredited laboratories includes 190 state laboratories, 132 local agency laboratories, 31 federal laboratories, 18 international (outside the United States) laboratories and 25 private.
344 crime laboratories are accredited under the International Testing Program, 17 crime laboratories are accredited under the International Calibration Program, and 35 crime laboratories are accredited under the Legacy Program.
AS of this date, No labs have been decertified by the ASCLD.
So, in closing, here are a few comments of my own.
I will let the targets of his accusations respond to his “warning” to the ASCLD membership as he preaching a very slanted version of “forensic reform” .
It is rather ironic his audience were the very people who claim to be joining hands (considering the AAFS adopted all 13 recommendations of the NAS Forensic report merely a week after its publication) with the Innocence Project, the FBI, prosecutorial conviction integrity units and the criminal defense bar in the future prevention of wrongful convictions within the US Criminal Justice system.
The particular list of criminal justice “threats” he seems to love to go after is basically the core of what the public and media consider as the leaders in “forensic reform.” Here are some of them.
The Center for Wrongful Convictions (Chicago); The Innocent Projects throughout the US (about 35 based at American Bar Association accredited law schools; The National Registry of Exonerations; The Marshall Project and others associated with speaking out about faulty forensic science (and other factors in wrongful convictions) who oppose his theory that forensic work in the over 1200 exonerations listed in the National Registry was nearly flawless.
Against these organizations he praises a single reference paper for his opinions.