One Lab Tech’s Errors Affected 800 Rape Cases

Laboratory bottles on a deskLaboratory bottles on a desk
Photo: Razvan Radu-RazvanPhotography/©RazvanPhotography 2004-2005

All it took was one bad employee to throw DNA evidence in more than 800 rape cases into question, and now the New York City medical examiner’s office is going through each one of them to correct her errors. They’ve already found 26. On the one hand, it’s good they caught the mistakes and are working to right them. On the other, it’s terrifying to think that evidence that can put people away for years is subject to human error just like pretty much any other process we humans have come up with.