Police reopen 7,000 cases after DNA error

Updated 2019 01 29: Added links to related articles.

Having the police reopen 7,000 cases after DNA error, to have the police “re-examine 7,000 crimes solved through DNA evidence” is a curious thing.  That is not so curious when considering that the errors brought to light caused a man to be exonerated of murders that he had not committed.  He had nevertheless been found guilty and served many years being incarcerated, on the basis of fabricated evidence.

The error? The police had not so much “solved” that case as they managed to bring it to the desired conclusion.  They did so by supplying false and manufactured evidence.  The evidence should not have been used but was accepted by the legal system on face value.

Reuters

Police reopen 7,000 cases after DNA error

Thu Aug 7, 2008

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australian police will re-examine 7,000 crimes solved through DNA evidence after a mistake forced detectives to free a suspect wrongly accused of murder. 

Police in the southern city of Melbourne withdrew charges against Russell John Gesah, accused in July of the 1984 murders of a 35-year-old mother and her nine-year-old daughter.

Gesah was arrested and faced court, but a later check found the DNA evidence used against him was taken elsewhere and mistakenly tested with samples from the Tapp murder scene….(Full Story)

Comment by F4L: There was apparently no “DNA error.” The problem was that the police supplied wrong DNA samples for testing, in an attempt to convict the wrong man. The article is silent on whether that happened by accident or by design.  It seems that the public is entitled to learn which of the two reasons applied, why and how.

It is possible that to have DNA samples tested by two independent labs would have helped to refute the original allegation.  In fact, that seems to be what happened in this case, although the article is silent, too, on how it happened that the mix-up occurred or why and how the error was discovered.

At any rate, the police sought to have Russell John Gesah convicted on the strength of evidence that they supplied but that did not originate from Russell John Gesah.

There have been many cases where man-hating staff in DNA-testing labs falsified DNA test results to bring falsely accused men to “justice”.

The only way that can be prevented is to have failsafe sampling and testing procedures that cannot be corrupted.  Nothing like that is 100 percent safe. That is obvious, given the frequent reports of wrongful or falsified DNA evidence.  Two different sources will minimize the chances of accidental or deliberate errors.

Having two independent DNA testing labs take and test samples will provide far greater assurance of DNA-testing accuracy than anything else will.

Men are often considered  to be criminals if they wanted become fathers.  They need to have two DNA tests done.  That is so even in paternity cases in so-called stable, monogamous relationships.  A man about to be sentenced to provide for that child requires that evidence from two independent labs.  Whatever sort of “sex crime” is involved, DNA tests used to convict or exonerate him must be done by two independent DNA-testing labs.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of the review of the 7,000 cases.  The DNA tests were used to put many men into prison in Australia. Let’s hope that the results of that review will become public knowledge and that someone will make certain that happens.


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