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22-Feb-2016

Call for investigation into New York State Police DNA cover up

Albany, NY

The Times-Union editorial board called for an investigation into the New York State Police DNA testing program.

A civil suit asserts that State Police brass were concerned "that a new DNA testing method [TrueAllele] could cast doubt on evidence used in the past to send people to prison." The suit alleges retaliation against scientists "because they raised concerns that older methods used at the lab may have given false results."

The editors say the "Legislature should look into this independently, and determine whether a DNA testing program so essential to the integrity of its criminal justice system is sound." They are concerned "that people may have gone to prison based on questionable DNA tests."

Cybergenetics TrueAllele® technology is an accurate and objective way to analyze complex DNA evidence that older methods cannot solve. TrueAllele's effectiveness has been demonstrated in 30 validation studies, 7 published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. A New York court found TrueAllele to be reliable after an admissibility challenge in People v Wakefield.

Independent review by the New York State Commission on Forensic Science led to approval in July of 2011 for TrueAllele use in forensic casework. But State Police administrators have repeatedly blocked scientists from using TrueAllele to solve crimes. Forensic scientists wanted to revisit old cases using TrueAllele, re-examining DNA evidence where older methods had failed.

"The suit raises the disturbing question of whether the state’s own investigation into cheating was cover for an even deeper scandal," say the editors – "to silence people who were raising questions about whether defendants have been wrongly convicted."


Links
  • A mystery at the state lab - Newspaper
  • Scientists sue state police over 'pro-prosecution' DNA lab - News
  • Controversy at NY State Police Lab results in lawsuit, call for outside investigation - Magazine
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