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Criminal defense may fight against tainted evidence

Those who are accused of crimes in Michigan depend on the justice system allowing a fair and impartial examination of the evidence before convicting them of crimes. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Part of building a strong criminal defense involves disputing the findings of forensic experts in crime labs. However, forensic labs in more than 20 states are under suspicion of various types of misconduct, and that often leads to people being wrongly convicted of crimes.

In one state, over 21,000 drug cases were dismissed on appeal after a lab chemist admitted to purposely tainting drug samples, falsifying evidence and lying under oath about her forensic findings. Another lab technician fed her own addiction by helping herself to narcotics and other drugs sent to her lab for testing, and two assistant attorneys general covered her crimes. Another 10,000 cases will likely be successfully appealed.

Investigations are beginning to reveal the inadequacies in training crime lab technicians to interpret DNA. Juries with little forensic background beyond TV crime shows may blindly accept DNA evidence as persuasive. Expert witnesses and prosecuting attorneys take advantage of a jury's acceptance of forensic evidence as science.

Someone facing criminal charges in Michigan may feel the evidence is hopelessly stacked against him or her. However, in light of the corruption and incompetence present in many crime labs across the country, questioning every shred of evidence is the best option for a fair outcome. In addition, having the advocacy of a dedicated and determined criminal defense attorney may improve one's chances for a positive future.

Source: National Review, "The Crisis in America's Crime Labs", Michelle Malkin, July 12, 2017

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