Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bulletin: Colorado Forensic Lab; It has come under fire for alleged mismanagement, lab bias And 'cover up'; The Colorado Independent. (See enclosed "Simple Justice" post in which a public defender speculates that "hundreds if not thousands of criminal cases could be affected by the allegations.)

STORY: "Colorado forensic lab under fire for alleged mismanagement, lab bias and 'cover up.' by reporter Susan Greene, published  by the Colorado Independent on June 10, 2013.

GIST: Colorado’s legal-defense community is raising questions about “what appears to be a cover-up” of systemic problems at the state lab that tests evidence in criminal cases. In a letter written Friday, Attorney General John Suthers disclosed the existence of a two-and-a-half-month-old, scathing report on the Laboratory Services Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the agency that does forensic testing of chemical samples used by prosecutors.  The March 18 report was the result of an investigation conducted by the Mountain States Employers Council. A redacted version, obtained by The Colorado Independent, shows a decline in training and oversight in the toxicology lab. It also finds it “more likely than not” that: • “employees perceive they’re ‘not adequately trained to provide fact or expert testimony in court.’” • “employees justifiably perceive that blood-alcohol training protocols for toxicology lab analysts are inadequate.”  • “refrigerators used to store blood and urine samples are not locked, making them accessible by unauthorized personnel.” • A supervisor “had toxicology lab employees help him/her with his/her master’s thesis during work hours.” • That same supervisor “made statements that suggest s/he is biased against defendants in criminal cases” and “imposes unreasonable burdens on toxicology analysts by making excessive accommodations for prosecutors and law enforcement agencies.” • And that “employees justifiably perceive that the toxicology lab is not sufficiently staffed to handle the work load.” Given that the problems began at least as early as August 201,  hundreds if not thousands of criminal cases could be affected by the allegations, says state Public Defender Doug Wilson.

The entire story can be found at:


 See "Simple Justice" post: (Rocky Mountain (not so) high); For years, the criminal defense bar has challenged the Colorado state lab's competency, integrity and accuracy. Arguments questioning its results, its methodology have been made over and over, and rebuffed.  The problem is always the same, that without knowing what's happening inside the onion, you can't prove that it's rotten at its core.  And the defense bar was always on the outside, only shown the top layer that looked exactly the way officials wanted it to look."
But they knew.  And they were right.


Dear reader: Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following developments relating to these issues;

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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:


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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.  

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