U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff of New York has been a member of a commission appointed by President Obama to improve forensic science in the criminal justice system. Judge Rakoff has resigned in protest, criticizing the U.S. Justice Department for undermining the Commission to benefit prosecutors. The Washington Post reported on the story in January 2015.
Judge Rakoff had recommended an expansion of the exchange of pretrial discovery to include more evidence from forensic experts. The Justice Department barred this recommendation. Judge Rakoff then quit in protest. The changes would address concerns by top scientific organizations and many legal experts that police and prosecutors have too much control over crime labs, which have low research standards. There are also concerns about the testimony given by government experts and some of their examinations.
There have been a number of crime lab scandals across the country, including some here in the state of Alaska.
If you have been charged with a crime, you should contact a criminal defense attorney. Contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden for a case evaluation. We practice state and federal criminal defense. You can also visit our criminal law page for more information about our practice.