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News Link • Criminal Justice System

Calls for crime lab to shut down amid more evidence doubts

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As questions about the St. Paul police crime lab spread to fingerprint evidence, top defense attorneys say the lab needs to shut down entirely until it can prove that its work is reliable.

The lab already suspended drug testing in July after employees testified they did not follow any written procedures and relied on equipment that may have been clogged with cocaine. The allegations alarmed many in the criminal justice system and threw thousands of drug cases into question in Dakota, Washington, and Ramsey Counties. Police Chief Thomas Smith replaced the lab director and hired two out-of-state companies to conduct an independent review. The Dakota County hearing that exposed the problems in the lab is ongoing.


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