RALEIGH, NC — After a recent audit of the State Bureau of Investigations blood analysis unit, it appears that many North Carolinians are skeptical, of the current justice system within the state. The audit revealed that SBI analysts may have violated both federal and state laws, by providing false reports. With citizens and the media referring to the crime lab as a “renegade unit,” when will faith in our state’s justice system be fully restored?
According to the Associated Press –
“The government-ordered inquest by two former FBI officials found that agents of the State Bureau of Investigation repeatedly aided prosecutors in obtaining convictions over a 16-year period, mostly by misrepresenting blood evidence and keeping critical notes from defense attorneys.”
Following an outside review, it was discovered that Duane Deaver had provided false reports in dozens of cases within the state. In a few of the cases, suspects were actually convicted and executed. At the moment, Duane Deaver is on paid leave, while the formal investigation into his actions continues. Of course, Deaver is not the only individual cited within the report still employed by the SBI.
“Four of the eight analysts named in the report, including Deaver, still work at the SBI in some capacity, said new SBI Director Greg McLeod, adding that an internal review of their work continues.”
Around 230 cases involving the eight analysts involved unsubstantiated reports. One of the cases named within the report – the murder of James Jordan 17 years ago — father of Michael Jordan. Two men were imprisoned based upon the findings of the SBI.
Defense attorneys have been questioning the integrity of the SBI crime lab in NC for years – and rightfully so. Should the SBI crime lab be replaced by an independent entity?
For cases where evidence from the SBI crime lab was used, many are suggesting that a moratorium on the execution of death-row inmates is now necessary. At this point, it looks like that is the only viable option. Unfortunately, it is entirely too little too late for the prisoners who have already been executed by the state.