Monday, May 20, 2013

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?

STORY: "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.

SUB-HEADING: "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."

GIST;   "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.

The entire story can be found at:

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;


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