Detroit crime lab closed due to testing errors


After a report released today showed a “shocking level of incompetence” in the Detroit Police crime laboratory, officials moved to stop all work in the lab, pending a more thorough review. The firearms division was closed in April after mistakes came to light in several gun cases, but now the entire lab has been shuttered. The new report found erroneous or false findings in 10% of cases examined.

All forensic cases in the city will be sent to state crime labs for review, deepening an already severe backlog, officials said.

The results of a five-month audit of the Detroit Police Firearms laboratory were released Thursday, revealing a "shocking level of incompetence" in investigations into cases involving ballistic evidence, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said.

The findings uncovered mistakes "so severe as to demonstrate a systemic problem in all disciplines within the crime lab and requires drastic action to ensure the integrity of the criminal justice system in Wayne County," Worthy said.

Read the full story here

. (Detroit News, 09/25/08)

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