prosecutor misconduct

Crime Labs Come Under Fire Nationwide for Questionable Tactics

In the criminal justice system, there is a skewed – but high – incentive for forensic scientists to get a conviction, whether it is a valid one or not. Crime and forensic labs are being paid fees per conviction, creating a higher possibility of bias. Crime labs conduct tests such as toxicology, fingerprint analysis, DNA evidence analysis, ballistics and hair microscopy. How confident would you be if you found out the lab conducting your toxicology test got paid only if you were convicted? Throughout the country, there have been thousands of falsely convicted individuals due to forensic lab mistakes, all […]

Scottsdale Crime Lab Ruling Challenged

Prosecutors in Maricopa County are fighting a Superior Court judge’s ruling to eliminate blood evidence in 11 DUI cases which could affect previous DUI convictions in Scottsdale. Defense attorneys in the 11 aggravated-DUI and extreme-DUI cases argued that defective equipment and lab administrators of the Scottsdale Police Crime Lab did not meet scientific standards to merit or account for the accuracy of the four-year-old blood-testing machine. They also questioned the capability of the lab employees, doubting their ability to detect errors should they occur. In August, Judge Jerry Bernstein barred prosecutors from introducing the machine’s blood-testing results in the 11 […]

Milke Case: Is Double Jeopardy a Factor?

The defense attorney of Debra Milke, a woman who has served 23 years in prison for the death of her son and was released from death row last year, claims that retrying Milke in court because of the prosecution’s withholding of evidence in the initial trial would violate her Fifth Amendment rights. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Milke’s case when it was found that the state did not turn over evidence of misconduct by their key witness, Armando Saldate Jr., in the emotionally-charged 1990 trial. The evidence would have allowed the defense to question the witness’s credibility. […]

Man Held Since ’04 for the Death of His Son Freed Because of Prosecutor Misconduct

Jeffrey Martinson, who spent nine years in custody for the death of his son in 2004, was released in November after a judge ruled that misconduct by the prosecutor in the case was too much to overcome. The decision has far-reaching implications: Because Martinson’s verdict was overturned with prejudice, he cannot be retried for murder without invoking double jeopardy. And despite an Arizona Court of Appeals ruling in 2012 that the prosecution could re-indict Martinson on different charges, the trial judge found that prosecutorial misconduct precluded filing new charges. Martinson was charged with first-degree felony murder in 2011 for killing […]