innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Crappy crime labs



The Seattle Post-Intelligencer continues exposing junk science in state crime labs with a story on forensic scientist Charles Vaughan. According to the story, Vaughn helped wrongfully convict two men in Oregon for murder, yet now finds himself back at work in Washington.

In the Oregon case, Vaughn testified hairs found on the scene were connected to the men -- which was later shown to be bogus. One of 12 flakes of blood found on the men were from the victim, but later evidence showed Vaughn himself could have contaminated the evidence during testing.

The piece follows the PI's in-depth investigation into the state crime labs, which showed forensic scientists contaminated tests or made other mistakes while handling DNA evidence in at least 23 cases over three years.

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