Broward County public defender questions crime lab's DNA ID process

Posted at 9:35 AM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 09:35:13-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- Questions over DNA identification process used by the Broward Sheriff's Office crime lab has led to the suspension and outsourcing of some testing, a call for a grand jury investigation and the reexamination of closed cases.

In a letter to Broward State Attorney Mike Satz on Thursday, Public Defender Howard Finkelstein called the process used by the crime lab is "tantamount to junk science."

He said prosecutors should stop using DNA mixture results in all pending criminal prosecutions "to prevent wrongful and unjust convictions."

The SunSentinel reports defense lawyers and a DNA expert say the lab's procedures have led prosecutors to rely on inconclusive DNA to convict defendants.

Sheriff's officials stand by the lab's procedures, but say remedies are in motion, including the July 1 suspension of testing of "complex DNA mixtures."