No government bodies regulate forensic labs, that should make you wonder. If DNA plays such a huge role in criminal court, why is it that there is no federal oversight?
Even the best labs can make mistakes. The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology landed at the center of the high-profile case of Cynthia Sommer, a widow convicted in 2007 of poisoning her Marine husband, who was based at Miramar when he died in 2002.
Sommer’s attorney, Allen Bloom, said the military lab was wrong when it found arsenic in Todd Sommer’s organs. Later testing, at a different lab, revealed no arsenic. Prosecutors dropped the charges, and Cynthia Sommer was freed after spending more than two years in jail.
Bloom said “the real scary situation” comes when lab workers trying to do the right thing make blunders. Innocent errors “are among the greatest systemic problems in wrongful convictions.“