News 10.23.08

California DA could get partial control of crime lab

According to documents obtained by the Orange County Register, a DNA task force in Orange County, California, is recommending that a panel including the District Attorney would take control of managing the county forensic labs. This is the latest news in a dispute over control of the lab between the sheriff and the district attorney. The current crime lab director has said that the prosecutor would have a conflict of interest in managing the lab and pointed to reports that county prosecutors asked the lab to change test results in the

James Ochoa

case.

Innocence Project Policy Director Stephen Saloom said prosecutors should not oversee forensic labs.

"Just like we wouldn't want a defense attorney to call the shots in a lab, we wouldn't want a prosecutor," Saloom said. "The prosecution's presence on the oversight board, combined with the inherently political nature of crime policy, could create some pressure that may result in politics taking precedence over science."


Read the full article here

. (OC Register, 10/21/08)

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