Legal and Criminal Justice Interests Collide with SPPD Crime Lab

Posted by on August 10, 2012

The criminal justice system involves a lot of professionals in a
variety of fields, and these professionals often work well under routine
protocol for procedures like processing evidence.  For example, the St.
Paul Police Department (SPPD) has its own crime lab that does many scientific analyses
for the SPPD and smaller local departments.  However, the crime lab’s drug
testing was suspended after allegations in a criminal hearing that the lab
routinely fails to properly document testing of substances suspected to be
illegal drugs.

How should attorneys respond to this?  The Washington County
Attorney has decided to offer more lenient plea deals focusing more on drug
rehabilitation rather than punitive consequences as a result.  The debate
will continue over what should be done with current and previous drug cases
involving the SPPD crime lab in the Twin Cities area.

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