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Minnesota crime labs under scrutiny after St. Paul issues

Minnesota public defenders have decided to review cases involving at least 18 other crime labs after problems were revealed at the St. Paul facility, the Pioneer Press reports. State Public Defender John Stuart said, “The way the [St. Paul] lab was operating regarding drugs raises questions about whether they have proper procedures or validation for fingerprints or ballistics or testing paint chips.”

Last week, St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith suspended crime lab drug testing after two crime lab workers and the director of the lab said the lab does not follow any written procedures for drug testing and does not document most of the steps they take when testing evidence for illegal drugs.

He named Senior Commander Colleen Luna to lead the lab’s reorganization.

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April 20, 2014