Two recent cases in the news confirms the role that cell phone evidence is playing in cases around the country. First , Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone in March of this year right after the folks investigating asked for the cell phone. Mr.Brady claimed it was his routine practice to destroy his old cell phone even though

I spend last week at a continuing legal education conference in Ft .Collins , Colorado. The conference was the brainchild of Wisconsin DUI lawyer Andrew Mishlove and sponsored by the National College of DUI Defense. The conference had two components . First , it taught some basic science skills on blood alcohol testing. Secondly , it

Today is going to be a short post . I am constantly amazed that in voir dire in most criminal cases the district attorney focuses on CSI. The state wants to make sure the jury does not hold them to the standard of TV . In fact , it appears the proficiency in criminal crime labs across

The image above is a lab tech sorting blood alcohol samples into a rack.  I now know why that’s important due to a class I took last year. DUI lawyer Justin McShane posted an article about the details of the class on gas chromatography on his blog. The point that Mr. McShane makes is that

In most murder cases a firearm is used . After someone is shot , blood is usually present at the crime scene . Can homicide detectives use blood found at the scene to make their case ? The blood left behind may provide some clues as to what happened . One method of bloodstain analysis is blood

I just ran across some great information by Christine Funk. Ms Funk is a criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota. Here is her interview of  M. Fredric Rieders, Ph.D. Dr. Rieders is a forensic toxicologist and CEO at NMS Labs.  http://www.nmslab.com/  In this interview, Dr. Rieders provides basic information about what a forensic toxicologist does and how





  

Numerous problems in San Francisco’s forensic crime lab have resulted in hundreds of drug cases being dismissed and hundreds more are under investigation.The root of the problem are accusations that an employee of the San Francisco Police Department’s crime lab was stealing cocaine.

Lab Tech Deborah Jean Madden is under investigation for theft and possibly evidence tampering.The crime lab was shut down in early March.Over 600 drug cases have been dismissed so far.San Francisco’s crime lab is not independent from the police department.

Police Chief George Gascon ordered an audit of the crime lab which found several problems including problems in the "chain of custody" record keeping for seized drugs. and improperly sealed drug envelopes.The audit found the evidence tampering would have been prevented had good laboratory practices been in place.

It appears the police knew of the problems with Ms.Madden as long ago as 2005 when 4 grams of cocaine handled by Ms. Madden came up missing in a federal racketeering trial Ms.Madden had been repeatedly counseled when she failed to follow laboratory protocol.


Continue Reading San Francisco Crime Lab Shut Down

 In light of the finding of the innocence of a North Carolina Man,Gregory F. Taylor ,North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has ordered a review of the state’s crime lab after disclosures about practices there that led to the exoneration of Mr.Taylor who had been wrongly accused of murder.Two former assistant directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation will review the crime lab’s practices and protocols in criminal cases dating back to the 1990’s. I had previously reported that a special panel reviewed Mr.Taylor’s case and found by clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Taylor was innocent.The conviction was based on flawed evidence from the crime lab.One key piece of evidence used at trial was blood stain evidence. The stains found in the truck were not human blood which the prosecutor alleged.


Continue Reading Crime Lab to Be Examined