In April of 2012 the Washington Post reported that high ranking United States Department of Justice officials had known or strongly suspected for many years that botched forensic evidence might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people. Although in possession of such knowledge, DOJ had not performed a thorough and complete review of these cases. Even more troubling was that prosecutors (who knew of the potential discrepancies) did not notify either the defendants or their attorneys in the cases.
On Tuesday, the Department of Justice and the FBI announced a joint effort to review thousands of these type cases to determine whether any defendants were wrongly convicted or possibly deserve a new trial due to any botched forensic evidence. The review will include cases conducted by all FBI laboratory hair and fiber examiners since at least 1985.
“The Department and the FBI are in the process of identifying historical cases for review where a microscopic hair examination conducted by the FBI was counted among the evidence in the case that resulted in a conviction. We have dedicated considerable time and resources to addressing these issues with the goal of reaching final determinations in the coming months,” this according to Department of Justice spokeswoman Nanda Chitre. Chitre went on to say that the new review would also include help from the Innocence Project, a New York based advocacy group that has long worked for and sought exoneration of innocent people through DNA testing, and would also include the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
The National Academy of Sciences has been urging the White House and Congress for years to remove crime laboratories from police and prosecutors control.
At the Steve Sumner Law Firm we understand the requirement that each and every piece of forensic evidence used in a DUI/drunk driving case be subject to the highest scrutiny we can provide. Our staff is factory trained and certified in South Carolina breath testing, and nationally certified in the field of field sobriety testing. Within the past year attorney Steve Sumner was invited and attended a forensic toxicology seminar in Atlanta, Georgia. We bring all of our resources to bear in questioning and scrutinizing any forensic evidence sought to be introduced against any of our clients in a South Carolina DUI/drunk driving case.
South Carolina DUI Lawyer Steve Sumner exclusively handles misdemeanor and felony DUI defense. He is a member the National College for DUI Defense, holds an AV-preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and a “Superb” ranking with Avvo. He represents clients in Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson counties, South Carolina. You can contact him at upstatedui.com or 864-235-3834. His office is located at 1088 N. Church Street, Greenville, SC 29601.