(Indianapolis Star) After three months of negotiations, the state has provided The Indianapolis Star with a summary of results from the retesting of actual blood samples from 2007 to 2009. The new tests were ordered after an outside auditor raised questions about the lab’s work during that period — and, specifically, about the original results for the samples sent for retesting.
The new results are disturbing on multiple levels.
The state paid an independent lab to double-check nearly 800 test results that were reported to prosecutors as positive for marijuana or cocaine. The retesting, however, showed no trace of the drugs originally reported in 243 — or 30 percent — of those samples.
In Marion County, Prosecutor Terry Curry said his office has received letters about 670 cases where test results have been called into question by the audit or retesting. He said 20 of those notices involved retesting that revealed no presence of drugs — findings contrary to the state lab’s initial reports.
About 10 percent of the positive marijuana results and 30 percent of the positive cocaine tests did not meet widely accepted scientific standards and should not have been reported to police and prosecutors.
How many innocent people, both cannabis consumers and non-consumers, were prosecuted for DUID, probation, or parole violation, and subsequently caged because of the sloppy work of this Indiana crime lab? Can you imagine the woman swearing “But I have never ever smoked pot? How could I be positive?” in court to the condescending stares of the judge and prosecutor?
This War on Drugs has us accepting in court as factual evidence the “alerts” of trained drug detecting dogs that we know false-alert to please their handlers. We accept as evidence the testing of blood and urine which has been shown to both be riddled with inaccuracies and irrelevant for determining driving impairment. We will keep 11-year-olds out of the school orchestra if they don’t pee in a cup.