Evidence

Another drug lab is shut down due to concerns about flawed work by staff


Add another jurisdiction to the list of those who have shut down their drug labs due to issues with staff.

The Columbia, South Carolina, police department closed its facility last week after determining that an analyst had not been properly trained and may have submitted inaccurate results in court cases, reports the State. An investigation is now ongoing.

“This analyst testified in court, and juries rely on that testimony,” Jack Duncan, who previously served as president of the S.C. Defense Lawyers Association, told the newspaper.

He said the case serves as a reminder that police lab work is not infallible; however, the defense often lacks funds to do independent expert analysis of evidence, Duncan noted.

Related coverage:

ABA Journal: “Crime labs under the microscope after a string of shoddy, suspect and fraudulent results”

ABAJournal.com: “Convicted chemist ‘sole bad actor’ at Mass. crime lab, but IG report questions 2,300 tests by others”

ABAJournal.com: “Should drug-lab issues derail hundreds of cases? New chief says lab was ‘like a ‘Hoarding’ episode’”

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