Highlights from the SBI crime lab review
A review of the blood analysis unit at the State Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab focuses in part on five cases as the most egregious. All were handled by Duane Deaver, an agent whose testimony about policies at the SBI led to a groundbreaking exonartion of a murder convict and to the government-ordered inquest.Posted — Updated
A review of the blood analysis unit at the State Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab focuses in part on five cases as the most egregious – each handled by Duane Deaver, an agent whose testimony about policies at the SBI led to a groundbreaking exoneration of a murder convict and to the government-ordered inquest. Deaver is on leave with pay from the SBI while an investigation into his work is completed.
Following is a summary of Deaver’s flawed cases, according to the review:
- Norvell Sherrard was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in December 1990 in a Winston-Salem case and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Item No. 2, which the report did not identify, tested positive for the presence of blood in a preliminary test. But three follow-up tests to confirm were negative. However, Deaver’s report said that further testing failed to give any result. There was no other blood evidence. Sherrard was released from prison in July 1997.
In addition to Carter, two other cases (unassociated with Deaver) mentioned in the SBI review ended in executions:
- John Hardy Rose was convicted of first-degree murder in 1992 and executed in 2001 for the slaying of Patricia Stewart in Graham County. An SBI analyst reported that an item in the investigation gave chemical indications for the presence of blood and said that there wasn’t enough quantity in the stain to test further. In fact, the analyst had conducted two follow-up tests, one of which was negative and one of which was inconclusive. Neither was reported. Rose confessed to the stabbing death; testing on other items found in Rose’s car revealed blood consistent with victim Patricia Stewart.
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