Local News

Lawmakers look for change to SBI crime lab

Posted August 19, 2010

— State representatives Nelson Dollar and Rosa Gill of Wake County are from different parties but they agreed Thursday night that change is needed at the state crime lab. 

An independent review of the lab's blood analysis unit released Wednesday found analysts omitted, overstated or falsely reported blood evidence in 230 cases – 190 of which went to trial.

Of those, 80 of the defendants are still serving time. Four are on death row, three were executed, though they confessed to their crimes, and five died in prison.

"It was shocking," said Gill, a Democrat.

"This is simply inexcusable," Republican Dollar echoed.

Lawmakers call for change in SBI Lawmakers call for change in SBI

The review examined a small percentage of the crime lab's cases over a 16-year period. As a result, there have been calls for a comprehensive review of all cases, going back as far as necessary.

"It's probably going to cost the state taxpayers millions of dollars," Dollar said.

Both lawmakers said they need to consider whether the SBI should be an agency independent of the Attorney General's office.

"We do need, possibly, some other agency," Gill said.

The agreed the public's confidence in the justice system has been shaken.

"And I think that's extremely unfortunate," Dollar said.


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  • Sherlock Aug 20, 2010

    This lab was accrediated by a National Organizational that stated the lab was outstanding in everything, has that accrediation been removed if not is should be. In the military we would not stand for this to happen. I think it is time to get a whole new lab going, one that can be a credit to the state and to law enforcement. Its time to start at the top and work down everyone should be new and trusted to do the job right.

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Aug 20, 2010

    Think what a good job the government will do with health care?

  • mochabrown Aug 20, 2010

    That's why Ms. Pendergraft took a demotion. Talk about corruption. What about the other attorney generals before Mr. Cooper, they should be held accountable (Mike Easleys and others before him)...

    Why can't folk just do right in the first place. Don't they realize that what goes around comes around. You might get away with your mess with man, but your will NOT get away, cause the same lies, mistreatment you put upon others, will affect the loves one around you. If a person is guilty, then do right according to the law to convict and that person will pay. But you are just as guilty as the people who commit crimes, when you stoop to their level to convict by any wrong means necessary.

  • davidaburton Aug 20, 2010

    Obviously, it is quite clear that our legal system is dysfunctional and in trouble. That is because their are NO checks and balances to the power that the citizens have handed over to the courts. Judges and lawyers abuse the system, and they have NO one to answer to. We need a citizen review committees, that should meet three to four times a year to review cases where citizens feel that the courts have overstepped the authority that the citizenry grants to them. The performance for the last several years, IE; Duke Lacrosse Case, Ticket Fixing Scam in Johnston County, Convictions of Innocent Citizens to save the personal/professional reputations of various court system individuals is a travesty. Enough is Enough! I am in favor of the death penalty, but the attorneys and judges have proven that they are INCAPABLE of policing their own system. "Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely", and the courts have been given waaaay to much power. It is time to set up citizen review boards, to sa

  • Hans Aug 20, 2010

    And some of you want to hand these people your DNA?

  • Objective Scientist Aug 20, 2010

    What can be said about this "mess"? That it is wrong and must... MUST be corrected is clearly a correct statement and one with which no one would disagree, but that simple statement "...wrong and MUST be changed" in no way does justice (pun intended) to the outrage that all feel about this. It seems a "culture" of "win, win, WIN" permeates our sports, , our businesses, our politics... and, "horror of horrors", even out "justice and law-enforcement system". "WINNING" seems to have become the "end" that justifies any and all "means" to accomplish that outcome. We need to change that "culture"... and that will require a change in our collective "moral compass".

  • smockermom Aug 20, 2010

    I think the Attorney General needs to be held accountable for these actions. It is time things ran uphill instead of downhill when actions like this are unveiled. It will take many many years for the people to trust in law enforcement again. How can people sleep knowing that they have wronged citizens of their freedom like this. People don't care anymore...sad sad world that we are living in

  • TheDude abides... Aug 20, 2010

    This is a direct result of the culture of the preference of easy convictions over actual justice. DAs dont get the positive press (thanks to many GOLOers) they deserve from seeking JUSTICE. They receive kudos for CONVICTION RATES.

  • havealife Aug 20, 2010

    WOW! Talking about corrupt! I agree with all of you; especially making them pay instead of the taxpayers. I am tired of paying for other people's mistakes. Until fresh minds are in, the lifelong do nothing 'wanna bes will continue to portray steven segal...(above the law). North Carolina is not hollywood.

  • Road-wearier Aug 20, 2010

    What a farce. What's going to happen is that the crime lab will be split off from the SBI but the same people will be there. Yep, that'll show them. Watch them change.

    Oh I know - throw the whole lot of Democrats out and put in Republicans. Never mind that the same bunch of ol' boys have been running the NC Republican party for years. They'll move in and put in THEIR cronies. That'll be effective. Eh, not so much.