Science Thursdays


The testimony of a forensic pathologist from Mississippi is under review, the Massachusetts’ Governor seeks funds to handle a crime lab scandal, and a Washington D.C. crime lab director works to reduce the rate of errors in evidence testing.  Here’s this week’s round up of forensic news:
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will seek $30 million from the state legislature in order to cover costs incurred when a Hinton State Crime Lab chemist

allegedly ignored protocols and faked drug test results

The newly appointed head of the Department of Forensic Services in Washington, D.C. will i

nstall protocols to avoid possible scandals

that plague other crime labs around the country.  Such protocols include blind case reviews, instituting an ombudsman, and automatic retesting of a certain percentage of evidence samples.

questions persist about blood-alcohol content (BAC) testing results

from a Colorado state lab. Though the results can vary greatly, the lab does not provide an error range.  Seventeen hundred cases were retested earlier in the year due to a technician’s improper operation of lab equipment.
The Harris County Forensic Genetics Laboratory that serves Texas recently opened a new facility that will remain independent from law enforcement and

reduce the backlog of rape kit testing

.  The county approved spending $7 million for the facility earlier in the year.
The testimony of a

forensic pathologist from Mississippi is being reviewed

in order to determine the accuracy of his claims about his lack of certification by the American Board of Pathology. 

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