Forensic Science or Government Deceit
The Former Director of the Michigan State Police Lab has admitted that politics came into play in lab reports. He allged that prosecutors pressured the lab to falsely report positive results for marijuana for the purpose of rasing the charges from a misdemeanor to a felony. He alleged that politics trumped science.
The former director, John Collins stated, “In my experience, it was just a non-stop political game that really got frustrating, and it wore down the morale of our staff, and it quite honestly, it wore me down.”
“It was really a big deal for me to let people understand that our laboratories were not in the prosecution business, they're not in the conviction business, they're in the science business,” said Collins.
“And if we don't position ourselves as being in the science business, then we really start to go down a path that's going to lead us to a lot of trouble. And that was very tough, because that was a major cultural, a different kind of a cultural message than had really been communicated before."
The above if an exert taken from an article that is circulating on the internet. As a Criminal Defense & DUI Defense Attorney practicing in Fresno, Madera, Tulare, and Kings County, I have also seen government witnesses testify in a manner that shows gaining a conviction is their goal, even when their testimony was unbelievable. While raising the possibility of fermentation defense in a blood alcohol case a California DOJ lab expert testified that he did not know if there was sugar in blood. Imagine a long time state employee who works in a lab testing blood, testified he did not know if there was sugar in blood. With government benefits, specialized knowledge of blood and science, along with the generally well known disease of diabetes, this would seem like a blatant lie. Not just a lie, but one designed to assist, untruthfully, with a conviction.
The fight we fight is real. While prosecutors stand up in court and say they represent the people of the State of California, I represent individuals who were arrested by government police forces, may times headed by an elected sheriff, or a Chief appointed by an elected official. The citizen is accused by the government, and prosecuted by the government based many times on testing that is done by the government labs, or private labs who have contracts, for money, to test samples, report results, and testify in court. The testimony affects the conviction rate of the prosecutors office. Which is headed by an elected District Attorney. Who will use statistics for future elections. Many times labs are political tools, not scientific testing facilities. Some labs have what are referred to as "conviction bounties" where they get bonuses if a conviction occurs.
Now, how do I, a single defense attorney, educate a jury within the rules of evidence, in a limited time span, over a few days, sharing the podium with paid expert witnesses, government scripts, faulty science, and witnesses that are trained liars and make them understand? That is my fight as a Criminal Defense Attorney.