San Francisco Police Department crime lab: SFGATE reports that a crime-lab technician and a supervisor implicated in alleged misconduct that could jeopardize hundreds of criminal cases failed a DNA proficiency exam last year and were barred from processing evidence.
STORY: "Technician, boss in SFPD (San Francisco Police Department) lab scandal flunked DNA skills exam," by reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken, published by SFGATE on March 30, 2015.
GIST: "The San Francisco police crime-lab technician
and a supervisor implicated in alleged misconduct that could jeopardize
hundreds of criminal cases failed a DNA proficiency exam last year and
were barred from processing evidence, documents show. Police Chief Greg Suhr said Monday that authorities were looking at
1,400 criminal cases that were prosecuted in part based on DNA work done
by the technician — identified in court records as Mignon Dunbar — and
her supervisor, Cherisse Boland. Both are civilian police employees. It’s the latest embarrassment for the crime lab, where the 2010 theft
of cocaine evidence by a drug-tester ultimately led to the dismissal of
1,700 criminal cases on which she had worked.“ We’re going to do a complete audit of any work these criminalists
touched,” Suhr said of the DNA tests. “If we do discover there’s any
problem, all those cases will be reworked until they’re to the
appropriate standard.” Suhr said the probe will last about six weeks. In addition, District
Attorney George Gascón said he has formed a task force that will look
into several recent problems in the police and sheriff’s departments,
including the DNA lab issues.........The DNA investigation comes as a national crime-lab accrediting
agency is conducting its regular five-year audit of the San Francisco
lab. Without accreditation, any DNA findings the lab made in murder,
sexual assaults and other criminal cases would be all but useless to
prosecutors in court." http://m.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Technician-boss-in-S-F-police-lab-scandal-6169230.php
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case. I
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.
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.ca/2013/12/the-charles-smith-award-presented-to_28.html I look forward to hearing from readers at:
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.