Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Annie Dookhan: Shocking numbers and a warning: "If you think this couldn't happen in your lab, you're naive." Nature. Link to Boston police file. Great Read.

STORY: "Chemist charged with fraud shows system under pressure," by  Eugenie Samuel Reich, published by "Nature" on October 9, 2012.

SUB-Heading: "Boston scandal exposes backlog."

GIST: "The numbers are shocking: 1,100 people are in jail on the basis of evidence that may have been tampered with, and 34,000 criminal cases could be affected. The fallout stems from the work of just one forensic chemist, who is alleged to have faked test results on suspected drug samples........“If you think this couldn’t happen in your lab, you’re naive,” says Robin Cotton, director of the forensic-sciences programme at Boston University and a former forensic-lab director. “Lab directors all over the country are paying attention.” Cotton and others say that the affair highlights a resourcing problem that is putting pressure on US forensic-lab workers and their supervisors, who need to bring cases to court fast, but without compromising the integrity of test results.........A bill now before the US Congress aims to improve the quality of forensic science by providing funding for research and for development of national standards. But the bill does not include funding to clear backlogs. Stephen Saloom, policy director at the Innocence Project in New York, which seeks to uncover wrongful convictions, says that even if the bill passes it won’t provide an immediate remedy for cases of deliberate evidence tampering."

The entire story can be found at:


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

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. One word of caution: It may take several weeks for content from current posts to respond to the search. Search away!

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.

Sent from my iPad