The terrible things that can happen in drug labs

by Walter Olson on October 2, 2012

And we’re not just talking the amateur meth kind. [Scott Greenfield]

{ 4 comments }

1 No Name Guy 10.02.12 at 3:04 pm

Just goes to show that said labs should have random samples of non “substances” sent in for testing, with a nice fat wrapper that said they were confiscated in a drug bust. And tell them that they, the labs, are being checked that way. One in 50 or 100 ought to keep ‘em honest.

2 Jerryskids 10.02.12 at 8:17 pm

I think you are missing the larger point here – the problem isn’t that some particular crime lab employee wasn’t honest, the problem is that crime labs themselves aren’t honest. Crime labs are tools of the prosecution holding themselves out as disinterested neutral finders of fact. Check your own state – are the crime labs there run by an independent agency or by the cops? Chances are it’s the cops. What do you suppose the reaction would be if you were to suggest that maybe the state crime lab should be run by the public defenders office?

3 Stephen 10.03.12 at 9:31 am

Which is not to say that one guy who gets 99% of his income doing contract work for the cops is likely to be any more independent.

Random checks seem to be the way to ensure they’re honest, because the commercial pressures of running a private sector drug testing lab still favour the prosecution.

4 mojo 10.03.12 at 1:43 pm

Any system that is counted upon for reliable and accurate results needs to be regularly tested. How else are you going to know how it’s working?

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