Monday, May 7, 2012

Bulletin: Ross Monaghan case: (Scotland); Flawed DNA testing raises questions about independence of forensic services; (Powerful read HL);

EDITORIAL: "Guard the independence of our forensic services," published by the Herald Scotland on May 7, 2012.

GIST: "ADVANCES in DNA technology have revolutionised the investigation of crime and the administration of justice. New techniques including the ability to analyse literally microscopic amounts of blood have prompted police forces throughout the country to review hundreds of unsolved murders in the hope of a breakthrough. DNA analysis is an extraordinarily powerful tool in unlocking compelling evidence. Like any new technology, however, it is limited by human failing and the case against Ross Monaghan, who was acquitted last week of the murder of Kevin "Gerbil" Carroll raises some disturbing questions. One problem with DNA evidence is the danger of cross-contamination. Police officers who searched Mr Monaghan's home seized a jacket found to have a single particle of firearms discharge residue. However, they were wearing the uniforms they had worn earlier on a firearms training exercise, so their clothing was covered with bullet residue. Such oversights should simply not occur in a police force with trained officers and a properly accountable chain of command. Alarm bells must ring even more loudly, however, over the relationship between expert forensic staff at the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) and investigating police officers. The court heard evidence from one forensic expert that she had prepared a report stating that the residue particle was of a similar type to that used in cartridges recovered from the crime scene but that this conclusion had been reached at the request of a detective superintendent involved in the investigation."




I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

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:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.