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.