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.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a major offense in San Jose. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you might be worried about the future of your driver’s license. Following a DUI arrest, you might be wondering what to do next. Knowing your rights and the next steps can significantly impact the outcome of […]
Navigating the complexities of criminal law in San Jose can be confusing. Many residents often have questions about their rights, the legal process, and the consequences of a criminal charge. Fortunately, understanding these topics is easier with the correct information. At Summit Defense, our criminal defense lawyers are here to help you. Every criminal offense is […]
Being charged with a DUI in California is a serious matter. If you get convicted of a DUI, you spend time in jail, have your license suspended or revoked, and face significant fines and other penalties. A DUI conviction will also appear on your records, which might make it hard for you to secure housing […]