Date: June 11, 2012
Subject: The Effects of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab Scandal The most important quality a law enforcement officer can have and should preserve at all cost is integrity. Regardless of what discipline they are employed in whether it be investigations, patrol or forensics an officer’s credibility is their most critical attribute. Thesis: As a result of unethical, fraudulent conduct by North Carolina SBI Crime Lab Agents several individuals were wrongly convicted of major crimes such as murder and rape and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. The effects on law enforcement collectively have been a loss of confidence and an overall sense of distrust from the citizens of North Carolina in law enforcement officers and the state’s judicial process system. Possible resources: News media including but not limited to The Huffington Post and The Raleigh News & Observer. Criminal Justice, Volume 27, Number 1, Spring 2012. © 2012 by the American Bar Association An Independent Review of the SBI Forensic Laboratory by Chris Swecker, Attorney at Law and Michael Wolf, Consultant. Specific case reports and reviews from the North Carolina Administration of the Courts (NCAOC) online records (if available). This topic relates specifically to Chapter 5, expert witnesses and Chapter 6, credibility. It will also relate to Chapters 3, 12 for discovery issues and 13. The main issue in this paper will be the focus on ethical misconduct in presenting false information, or in some cases excluding exculpatory evidence to the jury. It will also point out the unjust ramifications on innocent defendants as well as the effects such actions have on law enforcement’s credibility as an honorable institution.
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