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An independent review of the New York City medical examiner's office suggests a management change, legislation in Minnesota attempts to require accreditation for crime labs, and Ohio law enforcement addresses a backlog of DNA cases. Here is the round up of news for the week:
An independent review found that recent problems at the New York City medical examiner's office should lead to a wide-ranging management change. After missing and mixing biological evidence in numerous cases, and the resignation of various staff, the review showed systemic problems dating back several years.
In Minnesota, the problems with a lack of protocols at the St. Paul crime lab spurred a bill that would require accreditation for crime labs throughout the state. The author, Senator Ron Latz, believes the bill will "prevent wrongful convictions and increase public confidence in the criminal justice system."
Due to numerous problems with management, evidence processing, and a DNA backlog, local law enforcement agencies in Ohio are no longer sending biological samples to the Canton-Stark County Crime Lab. Law enforcement officials still support the crime lab but feel the Ohio Bureau of Investigation crime lab can do a more effective job conducting DNA testing.
A New Zealand researcher is determining how the psychology of juries is impacted by expert forensic evidence and how that interaction affects the integrity of the justice system. The research will examine how juries deliberate conflicting interpretations of evidence given by prosecutor and defense experts.
Congratulations to Texas exoneree David Wiggins who quietly married his girlfriend Rhonda earlier this month in a private civil ceremony. Wiggins becomes the third Texas exoneree in as many months to tie the knot. Michael Morton was married in March and Randy Arledge followed suit in April.