Accreditation group defends review of SBI crime lab
Posted February 22, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. — The Missouri-based group that accredits the State Bureau of Investigation’s troubled crime lab is speaking out against criticism that it failed to find issues with the lab’s practices of reporting test results.
The issue stems from an outside review of the SBI crime lab last year that found that analysts misrepresented blood work in nearly 200 cases over a 16-year period.
Attorney General Roy Cooper asked for the review after testimony last February from an SBI agent at the hearing of a man wrongly imprisoned nearly 17 years for a murder conviction.
The man, Greg Taylor, was later exonerated and freed.
The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board has issued a statement on its website saying that “no evidence was found in the reviewed reports or case documentation that indicates any attempt to conceal the results of blood testing performed by analysts of that laboratory.”
It continues, saying that inspections of the lab in the 1980s and 1990s found that reports containing results of blood tests were in compliance with accreditation standards.
Since the SBI review, Cooper and SBI Director Greg McLeod have put forth a number of measures for reforming the crime lab, including plans to undergo a more stringent accreditation process.