A group of exonerees, scholars, crime victims and defense lawyers spoke out yesterday in North Carolina, calling for sweeping changes to the state’s justice system in the wake of recent scandals at the state crime lab.
And a leading state prosecutor joined them in calling for a moratorium on the execution of anyone whose case involved evidence from the State Bureau of Investigation crime lab, which has come under fire following recent audits and investigative reports. The cases of
four death row prisoners
were included in a group of 190 cases pinpointed for review by a recent audit of the lab.
“Personally, I do feel like from a justice standpoint, we need to make sure the issues are resolved in the SBI crime lab,” N.C. Conference of District Attorneys President Seth Edwards said yesterday. “I just feel like the public right now is skeptical.” The advocates for the wrongfully convicted have filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of death row prisoner Melvin Lee White, who says he was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit based on flawed tests conducted by the SBI.
…Mark Rabil, co-director of the Wake Forest University School of Law’s Innocence & Justice Clinic…said the SBI has tried for years to “dupe” the public with lab results that do not meet scientific standard set for forensics.
“Truth is transparent,” Rabil said. “We now know that just because your wear a badge and carry a gun doesn’t mean you tell the truth.”
Read more about North Carolina’s crime lab scandals in the Charlotte News & Observer’s recent investigative report:
The Agents’ Secrets