B-R-A-D-Y and Giglio, and Kyles, and others.
Defense counsel should not trust USACIL. A number of news agencies, particularly McClatchy are digging deeper into the problems of individuals as well as management at USACIL. These issues ought to be used anytime you are requesting expert assistance for anything touched by USACIL: the do bad work, and they hide it.
The military’s premier crime lab has botched more evidence testing than was previously known, raising broader questions about the quality of the forensic work relied on to convict soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
Now, two senators want the Pentagon to open a full investigation.
If the so-called internal QA was working???? They brag they are ASCLD certified. That’s right, self-regulated by the American Society of Crime Lab DIRECTORS.
The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) is a nonprofit professional society of crime laboratory directors and forensic science managers dedicated to promoting excellence in forensic science through leadership and innovation.
Also be wary of DCFL. I now have two (personal) cases where they admit in pretrial documents and at trial that they do NOT do a thorough examination of any evidence submitted. All they do is verify what NCIS, CID, OSI, want them to. They do not, IMHO, do anything to seek out Brady material (there own documents say they do find such), and they are NOT asked by the TC to do so. Query, if the TC does not ask for that, is he/she compliant with Brady? IMHO – NO.
Some years ago I did a urinalysis case involving a Navy drug lab. According to their own expert they’d been on probation once (for issues that should have caused a closure), but that they’d been allowed to continue testing. Sorry, don’t have a ROT, the client got acquitted, partly because we had a six inch stack of paper documenting errors provided in the middle of trial. Great visual! Remember the “scandals” with Brooks? Hastis, the erroneously reported positive QA sample from AFIP? No because they are “in the past.” Ha.
You can see links to other posts I have about forensics both as to accuracy and discovery.
Fingerprints, “One acknowledgement is that the result in a fingerprint comparison may only be as good as the examiner.”
Congressional action on forensic labs.
I’ve posted before about issues with forensic testing and police controlled laboratories (including military drug testing laboratories). Here is an article from my old crim law professor, a former Army JA. You’ve also heard me frequently talk about confirmatory bias in regard to police investigations and other investigations.
Paul C. Gianelli, Independent Crime Laboratories: The Problem of Motivational and Cognitive Bias, to be published in the Utah Law Review.
Faith in police sponsored labs.
Before we place too much faith in police sponsored and monitored laboratories, here is a word of caution.
The New York State Police’s supervision of a crime laboratory was so poor that it overlooked evidence of pervasively shoddy forensics work, allowing an analyst to go undetected for 15 years as he falsified test results and compromised nearly one-third of his 322 cases, an investigation by the state’s inspector general has found.
Here’s a new law review article to go along with my rants about how prosecution expert and forensic evidence can be biased, it’s difficult to deal with, and the system allows the problem.
Voodoo science – continued
And just as a reminder that sometimes forensic examiners get too involved in their work:
The arrest of the state psychologist prompted a review of more than 100 cases in which he had opined that sex offenders were dangerous and should be civilly committed, and an appeal before the North Dakota Supreme Court.