Were you convicted on DNA Evidence?

DNA Test convictions may not be correct. Were you convicted on DNA test results?
Was your DNA test valid?

Did a bad DNA test result in a conviction? Were you convicted on DNA evidence? Maybe the test results were not as accurate as advertised.

While DNA tests may be reliable, the interpretations may not be. Actually, it’s generally not an issue with the test methodology or the process. The problem is with the evaluation process or the interpretation of the test results. Each of the tests are interpreted by a professional, or at least someone who is promoted to be a professional with the capabilities and training to interpret the results. When this evaluator fails to do their job or presents inappropriate or erroneous results, that’s when problems occur. If you read the article “The DNA Scandal That Could Threaten Thousands of Criminal Cases” you will quickly see that ‘experts’ make mistakes, either intentionally or unintentionally. My hope would be that the mistakes are unintentional, but that’s questionable. According to this article (published by the WSJ and written by Dan Frosch and Zusha Elinson) a Colorado ‘expert’ may have improperly presented results of DNA tests in over 3000 criminal cases.

In my opinion, it’s reasonable to assume that some tests may have also been conducted in civil cases as well, however, this is not mentioned or covered in the article. Cases involving paternity, child custody or other civil issues could potentially be affected as well.

This “expert”s work was considered the gold standard by colleagues and helped put away infamous murderers including cases that were particularly noteworthy in Colorado. Her analysis raises significant questions as to the reliability of the DNA evidence.

This last November, she abruptly resigned. The same day, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation said it had discovered anomalies in her work during an internal review and was launching a criminal probe.

The unfolding scandal—potentially one of the largest in the history of forensic DNA testing, according to experts—is throwing Colorado’s criminal justice system into chaos. The state said it would need to review and retest approximately 3,000 DNA samples that the expert handled. Public defenders estimate thousands of cases could be affected.

Prosecutors are bracing for numerous legal challenges from people charged or convicted based on her findings. State lawmakers recently allocated nearly $7.5 million for possible retrials and case reviews, along with the retesting.

At the center of the storm is a mystery: Was this expert just sloppy, or has she been purposefully cutting corners for decades to put people behind bars?

In November, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation alerted prosecutors that DNA testing conducted by this expert was missing data and it was related to the case involving Garrett Coughlin, whose trial for allegedly killing three people.

In a Dec. 5 email to district attorneys across the state, the lab director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation said she had in some cases altered data and in others, analyzed samples several times but reported only one result.

Other issues relating to this case prosecutors want to know why the problems with her DNA analysis weren’t caught earlier, a question other defense lawyers have asked as well. Standard criminal-lab protocol requires a forensic scientist’s work on each case to be reviewed by a colleague. The fact that these examinations have been going on for over 20 years and were never caught by peer review says there is something wrong with forensic testing in general.

If you think you were convicted on DNA evidence, we need to talk. If you are involved in a case where DNA evidence is presented, please conduct an excruciatingly thorough review of the DNA testing and processing process. EVERY step of the process should be examined in detail.

If I can provide any assistance, please contact me through my website at  UCMJInvestigations.com.

Scroll to Top