MI Professors: Crime Labs Should Be Run By Scientists, Not Cops


In a column in the Detroit Free Press, Michigan Law School professors David A. Moran and Samuel R. Gross describe as “highly disturbing” a state police report on the firearms unit of the Detroit Police Crime Lab. They write, “MSP found, among other deficiencies, that guns and bullets were kept unsecured and unprotected from possible loss and contamination; that essential records were missing in some 90% of the files; that critical scientific equipment had never been properly calibrated; and that many of the firearms examiners were untrained and unqualified.”

They continue, “The good news is that Detroit may be no worse off than many other cities. The bad news is that the good news–if you can call it that–is really terrible. This is a crisis that is national in scope.” The professors cite serious problems with the crime labs of the Houston police, Los Angeles police and FBI. They write, “Fixing this problem will take money, training, and supervision…But money alone can't solve everything. Most crime labs in the United States are run by police departments. That should change. We need independent crime labs run by scientists, not by police officers.”

Link: http://www.freep.com/article/20081108/OPINION05/81107111/1068/OPINION

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