Quantcast
Connect with us

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

Published

on

Lab (ShutterStock)

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.”

“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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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

2020 Election

Trump advisors admit he made a huge mistake — and needs a ‘breakout’ debate performance: report

Published

on

On Thursday, CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that campaign advisers to President Donald Trump regret allowing the president to cancel the second debate.

According to Acosta, these advisers believe it's essential for Trump to have a "breakout" moment on stage at the last round.

NEW: Campaign advisers tell our Chief WH Correspondent Jim @Acosta they now believe it was a huge mistake for Trump to cancel last week’s debate, making a breakout moment a must tonight to shake up the race. One adviser said Trump needs a “leadership moment...” #CNN

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Lara Trump’s lie about Biden family business deals demolished by conservative: ‘You could look it up’

Published

on

On Fox News Thursday, ahead of the final presidential debate, President Donald Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump repeatedly claimed that Joe Biden was allowing his family to use his name "while he was vice president" to secure profitable business deals.

Lara Trump just murdered irony pic.twitter.com/aBSQjLUp32

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 22, 2020

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump supporters linked to Steve Bannon pushing ‘fantastical rumors’ to try to ‘pizzagate’ Joe Biden: report

Published

on

NBC News on Thursday published a blockbuster report on efforts to smear former Vice President Joe Biden.

"Some of the same people who pushed a false conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton that first emerged in 2016 are now targeting Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son, with similar falsehoods. Their online posts are garnering astronomical numbers of shares on social media," NBC News correspondents Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny reported Thursday.

"The fantastical rumors, which NBC News is declining to repeat verbatim, echo specific plot points central to 'pizzagate,' a viral disinformation campaign that predates QAnon but also falsely alleges a vast conspiracy of child abuse," NBC News explained. "There is an important difference, however. The pizzagate-style rumors in 2016 were largely confined to far-right message boards like 4chan and parts of Reddit. But the Hunter Biden iteration of the same conspiracy theory took off last weekend with the help of speculation from conservative TV hosts and members of Congress. Their theorizing can be traced back to a new website that has been promoted by President Donald Trump and his surrogates."

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE