Quantcast
Connect with us

Scientists claim New York police forced them to fake DNA tests to convict more suspects

Published

on

Scientists Shannon Morris, Melissa Lee and Kevin Rafferty are suing the crime lab that they were fired from at New York State police department. When the two tried to correct errors they saw in the lab, they say they were silenced and others retaliated against them because the errors were working out in their favor to garner more prosecutions.

The department was working to implement a computerized DNA analysis system called TrueAllele which would guarantee results of the tests are correct. But because of pressure from the police to get more convictions, the use of the system was scrapped.

Their attorney John Bailey explained, “there are people that are very pro-prosecution. They were putting pressure on scientists to reach conclusions that were not scientifically valid. That’s what my clients were objecting to.”

The three scientists have worked for the department for over 20 years with otherwise unblemished records. Of the 37 total staffers that were trained using the TrueAllele system, Morris, Lee and Rafferty were the most vocal in their criticisms of the department’s old analysis method. They explained that it wasn’t long before they were singled out in an “internal investigation” and accused of ethical violations. It served as a pretense to silencing them and blocking the program’s full implementation.

State Police spokeswoman Kristin Lowman said the agency used the TrueAllele system but canceled it a year before their five-year contract was up. “The program was not progressing because of the internal investigation. The State Police is committed to the technology and is seeking a new request for proposals to move forward,” she said.

A second case has also been filed in New York City. According to a CBSNews/AP report, after she questioned the use of the DNA profiling technique, Dr. Marina Stajic was told she could retire or be fired from her job as the lab’s director. Critics have argued that the system, known as “low copy number,” is unreliable and should not be used in court. Stajic says in the lawsuit documents that her superiors were “displeased that [she] appeared to be aligned with the criminal defense lawyers on the commission” whom she “viewed as adversarial.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Courts in all five boroughs have recognized that OCME’s DNA techniques are reliable and generally accepted by the scientific community,” the Medical Examiner’s office spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said in a statement to CBS.

Lowman claims police aren’t concerned about the validity of testing, however, “We were audited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation on all aspects of our forensic biology (DNA) operation and are in full compliance with all of our accrediting and oversight body requirements.”

Neither case has gone to court as of yet.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘This is ridiculous’: ex-prosecutor rips Democrats for not even swearing-in Hope Hicks before her testimony

Published

on

The House Judiciary Committee failed in how they went about interviewing Hope Hicks, the longtime Trump advisor who rose to White House communications director.

On Thursday, the committee released a 273-page transcript of Hicks testimony behind closed doors.

For analysis, MSNBC "Hardball" anchor Chris Matthews interviewed former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne.

Lawyers representing Hicks repeatedly objected to her answer questions.

"What is this thing, this word objection? This is loaded, all this wasted paper, a lot of this paper simply has the word objection on it," Matthews said, holding up a 271-page printout of Hicks' transcript.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Hope Hicks told Congress that Trump has cut her out of his life — he virtually never calls her anymore

Published

on

Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was broadly considered to be one of President Donald Trump's favorite staffers.

But when she left the administration in 2018, the president virtually cut off ties to her, and has only spoken with her five times since then, according to the transcript of the closed-door hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday:

In her interview, Hope Hicks says she has only spoken to Trump between five and ten times since she left the White House in February 2018. (He used to call that much in a day.) They last spoke in April, when they had dinner. Our story from yesterday:https://t.co/3gzVY21c3z pic.twitter.com/VMZqhnbgib

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Elections regulator warns foreign intrusion into US campaigns is already happening

Published

on

In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Federal Elections Commission is warning that there is already foreign intrusion in the U.S. campaigns.

FEC chair Ellen L. Weintraub was forced to issue a statement after President Donald Trump said that he wasn't sure what he would do if a foreign government approached him with "dirt" on his political opponent. He said that he "might" tell the FBI but would likely hear what they had to say. He said that it wasn't illegal, but Weintraub issued a statement reiterating that it is illegal.

"I am particularly concerned about the risk of illicit funds and foreign support influencing our political system. Foreign dark money represents a significant vulnerability for American democracy. We do not know the extent to which our political campaigns receive foreign dark money, but we do know that the political money can be weaponized by well-funded hostile powers," the letter warned.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link