Sunday, July 10, 2011

One 'root cause' of El Paso crime lab woes: 'analyst's significantly flawed deductive reasoning capabilities'

The report from ASCLD/LAB, the national accrediting body, which caused the El Paso PD crime lab narcotics division to be placed on probation is available here (pdf). In particular, the group complained of incompetent analysts; inadequate supervision; overstating the thoroughness of testing; failure to follow their own laboratory policies; failure to base laboratory procedures on known standards; inadequate intensity on their mass spectrometer; failure to document testing/calibration of instruments; improper access to the lab by police officers and other department personnel; and failing to require a written test to determine labworker competency.

Apparently at least one labworker simply wasn't competent to work there. "Flawed analytical deduction" by one of the lab's employees was declared a "root cause" for some incorrect results. Ouch! The report doesn't name names, but that's gotta make for some harsh gossip around the water cooler. Indeed, according to ASCLD/LAB, "The root cause for this [deficiency] was clearly the analyst's significantly flawed deductive reasoning capabilities. Furthermore, corrective action taken by laboratory management to address the flawed proficiency did not include suspension from performing casework, retraining or competency testing." Translated from bureaucrat-speak, that means one of the labworkers was blatantly incompetent and nobody at the police department took sufficient "corrective action" before the accrediting body called them out. Tough stuff.

Don't be surprised to see El Paso defense attorneys figure out in short order which labworker the report is referencing and potentially demand retesting in many if not all of his or her old cases. What a mess!

RELATED: El Paso PD drug lab put on probation by accrediting agency.


rodsmith said...

of course the one question nobody will ask.

How many CITIZENS are now serving MULTI-YEAR sentences becase of this idiot!

Anonymous said...


It's more than 1 idiot. It's the Supervisor's fault for not training correctly.

Las Vegas, too...

Ohio crime lab has 1% of samples contaminated...

Neither of these labs is on probation.


Anonymous said...

Flawed deductive reasoning capabilities, my ass. A more plausible excuse is intentional framing of innocent citizens, and it is wide spread all across the nation and throughout every law enforcement agency and crime lab.

Just a year ago the CSI Chief for Nebraska was found guilty of intentionally framing two innocent men for murder, and anyone who believes this is an isolated or even rare occurrence is either stupid or has blind faith in our criminal justice system:

At least this useless POS was charged and brought before a judge, something that would never, ever happen here in Texas.

Anonymous said...

And just where do you expect all those dumbed-down high school graduates to work? There are only so many McD's, you know!

john said...

This means they'll have to get out a new TV series, "CSI El Paso" immediately to brainwash people gov officials know what they're doing!! Maybe they could get help from the driver license or unemployment folk?

rodsmith said...

oh i know it's a WORLD WIDE problem. i saw a report YEARS ago that said about 10% of all criminal convictions in the united states each year are factually INNOCENT!

but since we have went from the

"better that 10 guilty men go free than for one INNOCNET man to be inprisoned"


"better 10 INNOCENT men to to prison than for one GUILITY man to go to prison!"


Anonymous said...

"Flawed analytical deduction".

To me, that means someone there is likely saying something like, "All these years I thought that meant "Positive"."

Anonymous said...

Deductive reasoning? Seriously? Silly me, I thought this was a common human trait, one that places us above other primates in the gene pool. Damn, all that college went for nothing...