News 08.29.08

Friday roundup: crime labs in the news

Plenty of forensic issues are making news around the country this week.

•  The longtime director of the Baltimore crime lab was

fired this week

after officials learned that crime scene evidence had been contaminated with the DNA profiles of lab analysts. Defense attorneys and forensic experts said this news could call thousands of cases that had been tested in the lab into question.

•  Prosecutors and Sheriffs in South Georgia said the

proposed closure of two crime labs

would hurt both crime victims and defendants. Meanwhile, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is

eliminating its staff forensic anthropologist

.

•  Officials planned to

destroy piles of evidence from a Texas courthouse

in September unless defense attorneys or prosecutors claimed the evidence and stored it themselves.

•  Arizona lawmakers expressed concern this week that a proposal to

require police departments to pay lab costs

would strain law enforcement budgets and underfund the labs.

•  Indianapolis lab analysts are

experimenting with DNA collection from guns

.

•  A California state crime lab was criticized for

losing evidence in a murder case

.

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