Monday, November 19, 2012

Allegations of sloppy work, bias, dishonesty dog Oregon State Police handwriting unit

This just in from the Oregonian: "An Oregon State Police handwriting examiner committed a serious error in a killer-for-hire case last January, provoking so much finger-pointing that the future of the agency's document analysis unit is uncertain.

State police officials, confronted by a whodunit under their own roof, suspended all work by the handwriting unit in March, saying little about why. But internal reviews obtained by The Oregonian through open-records filings detail allegations of bias, sloppy work and dishonesty.

Out-of-state experts are now re-examining 35 criminal cases worked by the unit's two handwriting analysts, partly to ensure that no innocent people were convicted on faulty findings. Washington State Patrol officials, who relied on the examiner who made the error to review at least 40 of their cases from 2009 to 2010, are waiting to see what the experts find."

...

"Kelley and Emmons say they have no problems with their work being reviewed by outside experts, and both say no mistakes will be found.

But their suspension has caused another problem.

The accreditation board of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors declined to accredit the handwriting unit as a result, leaving state police with no way to conduct handwriting examinations on their own.

They have had to farm out the work to the FBI and other agencies."

Read the whole article by clicking here.

No comments: