Theresa Caragine: New York Daily News reports that a pioneer in DNA testing has quit the Medical Examiner's Office; Some criminal cases to be reviewed for potentially faulty test results. Tip of iceberg?
"Exclusive: Pioneer in DNA testing quits Medical Examiner's Office over
lab violations, by reporters Shayna Jacobs, Kerry Burke and Daniel
Beekman, published by the New York Daily News on May 16, 2013.
"Theresa Caragine stepped down in April after it was revealed she had
overruled staff under her supervision and failed to turn the conflicts
over to a third party. Now the door has been opened for some criminal
cases to be contested for use of potentially faulty test results."
"A top deputy at the medical examiner’s office who has been lauded for
her work in DNA testing resigned amid revelations that she sidestepped
lab protocol in at least two criminal cases, the Daily News has learned.
The abrupt April 19 departure of Theresa Caragine is the latest snafu
to befall the office and has already affected ongoing cases in the Bronx
and Brooklyn, according to court papers. Hundreds of rape cases the
office examined were already under review
due to potentially botched testing by lab tech Serrita Mitchell, 55, who
resigned but later denied wrongdoing. That scandal also led to the
suspension of Mecki Prinz, the office’s forensic biology director.
Prinz, 55, resigned May 3. The latest debacle has opened the door for
defense lawyers to question DNA evidence in several cases. Caragine’s
actions came to light because Legal Aid Society lawyers have
been digging for details about her resignation and complex DNA testing
she oversaw, said Alan Gardner, head of Legal Aid’s DNA unit. Along with
partner Adele Mitchell, Caragine, 43, pioneered an acclaimed
but controversial DNA testing tool, which helps identify genetic
profiles in samples from multiple people, a difficult task. “I believe that the problems that are revealed in the disclosures
obtained in the Brooklyn case are the tip of the iceberg,” Gardner said.
Check out the related post on "The truth about forensic science blog": "The forensic lab worker retirement plan again: Screw up tests, skip steps...retirement life." (The truth about forensic science blog" is one of my favourites. Justin McShane, the guiding force behind the blog, is a Pennsylvania lawyer who has an aversion to medical examiners who abuse their powers or otherwise cut corners and fail to exercise the diligence and high standards required of people working within the realm of forensic science inside the criminal justice system. HL.)
Dear reader: Look out for future posts on the Charles Smith Blog. We are
following developments relating to Theresa Caragine and the Medical Examiner's Office;
have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses
several thousand posts. The search box is located near the bottom of
the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this
powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and
myself get more out of the site. The
Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible
years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr.
Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of
Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic"
section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It
can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:email@example.com Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.
My interest in forensic pathology began with my Toronto Star investigative reporting into once famed since disgraced former doctor Charles Smith. I began this Blog after retiring from the Star in 2006 in order to follow the aftermath into the independent Goudge inquiry into many of Smith's cases. I have now begun to focus on cases involving flawed forensic science no matter where they occur (the recent Amanda Knox prosecution in Italy, for example) and am fascinated by the interest in the Blog from people in countries throughout the world. In another development, my interest in "junk science" "pseudo-experts" and the miscarriages of justice they all too often cause has drawn me deeply into the on-going U.S. death penalty debate where so many troubling cases involve issues relating to DNA and other developments in the world of forensic science. For all of this I rely on my experience as a reporter at the Toronto Star, my work as a lawyer in Ontario's criminal courts, and my abhorrence of injustice. Please send cases and developments which may be of interest to this Blog to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read on! Harold Levy.