Rumblings about mess-ups in US government-run forensic labs has finally reached the US DOJ. The reliability aspects of who does the “accreditation” is another matter. Thanks to NACDL and @celiagivens at the DNA Newsletter.
DOJ to Mandate Lab Accreditation
The Department of Justice has announced a new policy which will require DOJ forensic labs to “obtain and maintain accreditation and will require all department prosecutors to use accredited labs to process forensic evidence when practicable” by 2020. The policy is an attempt to tackle numerous crime lab scandals that have been uncovered in recent years.
But the policy falls short of genuine reform. It only affects labs used by the DOJ and has an implementation date set five years in the future. Further, Frontline reports“the new policy seemingly has a built-in loophole” that only requires use of accredited labs “when practicable,” meaning non-accredited labs may be relied upon if there are delays or excessive costs at accredited labs.
Reblogged this on FORENSICS in FOCUS @ CSIDDS | News and Trends and commented:
Ad this to the list. This lab direct was cleared, however.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The crime lab director for Douglas County is resigning, months after she was cleared in an investigation into some of her work.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that Tracey Ray will resign effective Dec. 31. Additional information was not released.
The sheriff’s office initiated an investigation in January regarding alleged issues with Ray’s handling of certain evidence. An independent forensics expert concluded in June that Ray did not cross-contaminate or degrade evidence.
Chief Deputy Tom Wheeler said in a news release that the departmentregrets Ray was on administrative leave “for so long” during the investigation and that it received press coverage.
Ray was hired in 2010 after former county crime lab chief David Kofoed was convicted of planting evidence in a Cass County double murder.