Burke Levy, P.C.

Can We Trust Our Crime Labs?

The forensic crime lab is supposed to be the place where truth comes to light. Drug testing, DNA evidence and other tests are supposed to reveal the essential facts of each case, in many cases determining whether a defendant goes to jail or walks free. But in some cases, the crime lab has become instead a focal point for fraud.

In Massachusetts

In Massachusetts alone, tens of thousands of cases stand to be overturned or dismissed because of the actions of just two crime lab workers gone rogue. And it's not just happening in Massachusetts: the problem appears to be widespread, affecting crime labs in more than 20 states. In Oklahoma, the actions of one crime lab worker alone have sent 11 inmates to their death.

The 'smoking gun?'

Forensic evidence can be an essential part of a criminal trial. In fact, forensic evidence is often taken to be the "smoking gun" that proves someone's guilt or innocence. Therefore, it's crucial that such evidence be handled with integrity in order for justice to be served. While fraud in crime labs may seem unthinkable or nonsensical, it's not unheard of, and may become another part of a case that needs to be untangled later.

If you've been charged with a crime that requires a lab to process evidence, it's crucial that you partner with an experienced defense lawyer who can protect your rights and challenge evidence that may have been tampered with or collected inappropriately. Not all evidence is admissible in court, and it can help your case immeasurably to weed out forensic evidence that lacks this integrity.

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