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"The personnel matters at issue did not affect the integrity of forensic results in any criminal cases," says Van Hollen. "The laboratories' system of quality assurance worked."
MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation has completed a second investigation of six personnel matters involving employees of the Madison and Milwaukee state crime laboratories between the years 2002--2006. The second investigation found no instances where faulty forensic test results were presented in court against criminal defendants, and no evidence of systemic problems that would bring the reliability of the laboratories into question.
In a complaint filed with the Department of Justice on September 9, 2008, Brookfield criminal defense attorney Jerome Buting alleged that the conduct of the laboratory employees may have affected the integrity of the forensic results provided by the Madison and Milwaukee crime laboratories. To further guarantee public confidence in the work performed by the state's crime laboratories, Van Hollen directed the Division of Criminal Investigation to conduct a second investigation.
"The integrity of Wisconsin's criminal justice system depends on the reliability of the work performed by the state's crime laboratories," said Van Hollen. "The six personnel matters at issue were known to and investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice long before Mr. Buting wrote his letter. They did not affect the reliability of forensic results in any criminal cases. The laboratories' system of quality assurance worked."
The Wisconsin Department of Justice maintains crime laboratories in Madison, Milwaukee and Wausau. The laboratories provide forensic services and crime scene processing to local law enforcement officers. The forensic services include firearms identification, the comparison and identification of tool marks, chemistry, identification of questioned documents, metallurgy, comparative microscopy, instrumental detection of deception, the identification of fingerprints, toxicology, serology and forensic photography. In addition to maintaining their own quality assurance programs, the crime laboratories participate in the Crime Laboratory Accreditation Program of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board.
The names of the laboratory employees have been redacted to protect their privacy interests.
Further information on the state crime laboratories may be found on the Wisconsin Department of Justice's website here.
A copy of the Investigative Report may be found below: