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.

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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

Breaking Banner

GOP will be ‘aided and abetted’ by Russian bots and trolls defending Trump: Former FBI counter-intel chief

Published

on

The former assistant director for counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned Americans to "hunker down" because Russian intelligence will be repeating Republican talking points.

Frank Figliuzzi was interviewed Thursday by MSNBC's Brian Williams on "The Last Word."

"Frank, Fiona Hill -- who richly deserves it -- has been awarded front page status tomorrow morning on the front page of The New York Times, and I imagine newspapers and websites across this country," Williams noted.

"It was extraordinary today when she -- in effect, begged -- asked, certainly, members of the committee to stop supplying Russian talking points, to stop advancing Russian propaganda in the Congress of the United States," he continued.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump has committed 6 impeachable offenses: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe says ‘the evidence is all there’

Published

on

Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe broke down the six impeachable offenses President Donald Trump has committed during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Tribe has argued 36 cases before the United States Supreme Court and taught at Harvard Law for 50 years. He co-authored the 2018 book To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment with Joshua Matz.

"Everyone was in the loop, it was no secret. That was the testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland yesterday as he implicated the president, Secretary of State, White House chief of staff, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton and other administration officials in the plot to bribe the president of Ukraine to publicly launch an investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine that was authorized by Congress and that the president was withholding," O'Donnell reported.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Rachel Maddow breaks down how public opinion is catching up with the facts of Trump’s impeachment

Published

on

MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday broke down how the details from the televised impeachment hearings are being reported in local newspapers.

The host read the headlines from multiple newspapers following the damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The Los Angels Times headlined, "Sonland implicates president." "Envoy says Trump directed effort," was The Wall Street Journal headline.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch headlined, "'Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret': Defiant Sondland says he followed Trump's orders."

"Trump directed pressure on Ukraine, ambassador says," headlined The Kansas City Star.

Continue Reading
 
 

Happy Holidays!

As a special thank you from all of us at Raw, we're offering Raw Story ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. Now 'til Dec. 31st.
Offer Expires In:
close-link