Not sure how this happened, but the New York City Medical Examiner’s office is reviewing more than 800 rape cases where critical DNA evidence might have been overlooked by a lab technician!
According to The New York Times:
Supervisors have so far found 26 cases in which the technician failed to detect biological evidence when some actually existed, according to the medical examiner’s office. In seven of those cases, full DNA profiles were developed — in some instances, evidence that sex-crime investigators did not see for years, hampering their ability to develop cases against rape suspects.
One of those instances involved newly discovered DNA that matched a convicted offender’s sample. That led to an indictment a decade after the evidence was collected.
The examiner’s office is trying to figure out where the disconnect came about:
The scope of the problem has yet to be determined; at several points over nearly two years, supervisors in the medical examiner’s office thought they had gotten to the bottom of the technician’s errors, only to find that the trail went further.
The office did not release the name of the technician who prompted the investigation. She resigned in November 2011.
In the course of reviewing the technician’s work, supervisors discovered another problem. Sixteen pieces of evidence, generally swabs sealed in paper envelopes, were found in the wrong rape kit, commingling DNA evidence from 19 rape investigations, according to a letter from the medical examiner’s office.
Well they need to get this all the way under control!