News 07.14.11

Science Thursday

The discovery of a DNA sample switch exonerates a Nevada man and a Texas crime lab is put on probation by its accreditation agency. Here’s a roundup of this week’s forensics news:

 

The Las Vegas Metro Police Department announced that a lab mix-up

caused a wrongful conviction

. This lab had earlier problems with another DNA analyst, which were

discovered a week before a 2008 death penalty case went to trial

. New information has also surfaced about a third DNA analyst who lied about

a mistake in DNA analysis

.



The El Paso Police Department

 

Crime Lab



was placed on probation



by its accreditation organization late last month for a number of non-conformities ,including allowing an analyst to conduct a proficiency test 45 times in order to obtain the correct answer and using improper methods to analyze toxicology samples.

 

The district attorney



does not believe these problems will lead to cases being overturned

.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab has announced

potential delays

in its evidence processing because it has been tasked with retesting evidence from the El Paso Police Department Crime Lab.

The drug wars in Mexico

have overwhelmed the capital’s forensic pathology services

.

The Kansas Supreme Court

found prosecutorial misconduct

in a case where the prosecutor introduced bias during jury selection through the discussion of a controversial psychological syndrome.

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