Study Shows Crime Lab Data To Be Corrupted (CA Penal Code 288)

Study Shows Crime Lab Data To Be Corrupted (CA Penal Code 288)

Rabin Nabizadeh
September 19, 2014

20 years ago, DNA evidence was just becoming mainstream.  Before it became one of the most damning pieces of evidence against accused persons, it had to be vetted, not only by members of the judicial system, but also in the public mind.  In 2014, it seems that no one questions DNA evidence, or the evidence given by crime lab experts when they testify in court.  Their testimony seems to be taken, especially by juries, to be unimpeachable, almost perfect.  However, one study published in Criminal Justice Ethics (by Roger Koppl and Meghan Sacks) reveals that crime labs are regularly given incentives to ‘find’ specific evidence that will falsely lead to convictions.  This kind of evidence, as you can imagine, is of the utmost importance in any trial involving an accusation of sexual assault, child molestation (CA Penal Code 288) or other sex-related crimes.

It seems that crime labs across the country are paid a fee (included in what are often referred to as ‘court costs’) for each guilty verdict that the evidence they provide leads to.  These monies are doled out for DUI convictions, speeding tickets, arson, and any other criminal investigation that you can think of.  For example, the study shows that, in North Carolina, as much as $600 may be awarded by a jury to the crime lab providing evidence, but only after the trial in question has resulted in a conviction.  For instance, CA Penal Code 1404-1405 states that anyone who is convicted of a crime involving DNA evidence must pay for that evidence to have been tested and used against them.   This seems counterintuitive now that there is ample cause to believe that some crime labs must ‘force’ results in order to stay in business.  It seems to be a matter of economics and not simply an interest in carrying out the necessary steps for justice to be served.


latest news

April 7, 2022
What Can I Expect After Being Arrested for a DUI in California?
A DUI charge is a severe criminal offense in California. DUI arrests take away a massive part of your driving privilege and could tarnish your reputation. Prior DUI convictions can inflict further damage to your career opportunities, driving rights, and immigration status. This blog will go over what you must expect when facing DUI charges. [...]
April 7, 2022
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in California?
DUI cases may stay on your criminal record forever. The United States sees DUI as a serious traffic crime punishable with grave penalties. Fighting your way through a DUI case is a challenging task. But, it doesn't mean you can't do anything about it. There are legal options available for you, depending on the nature [...]
April 6, 2022
Arrested for DUI in California: Am I Going to Lose My Job?
You've been charged with a DUI and have no idea what to do next. A lot of worries may run through your mind, including the fear of losing your job. Many aspects of a DUI charge can be overwhelming to a person, even to those familiar with California Law. In this blog, we will discuss [...]