DNA Mixup in Las Vegas: Innocent Man Served 4 Years

Dwayne Jackson served four years in prison for a robbery it turns out he did not commit. An "accidental switch" of DNA samples at the Las Vegas lab, or "human error" as the news puts it, was responsible.

The state has admitted the error and a settlement has been reached. Jackson was freed from prison in 2006.

More than 200 cases will now be reanalyzed to determine if other such errors were made by this lab tech, who has been placed on administrative leave.

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    OT sort of, but my son recently toured Alcatraz (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Dadler on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 07:11:39 PM EST
    His friends, he said, had fun, while Eli was disturbed by the entire place, by the idea of people locked in those cages for years on end, by the depressing reality of it all.  He doesn't even like to hear the word prison now.  The kid gives me hope for the future.  And that he devoured an entire novel last night in bed, in this day and age, when kids are gadget addicts with the attention spans of a tweet, I couldn't be prouder.  Novel was QUAKE, about a kid separated from, and trying to find, his family during the 1906 SF earthquake.

    to their credit, (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:22:06 PM EST
    the state didn't argue the case, and took responsibility for the mistake. obviously they can't give him the 4 years back, but they made a good faith effort to atone. for that they get points.

    Seven months? (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:27:18 PM EST
    Police said that information triggered a seven-month process of evaluating the case and re-examining DNA evidence to confirm that a mistake had occurred.

    Seems unlikely cutting back on public employees will help avoid such human error in the future.

    Also, any information re whether this case (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:31:59 PM EST
    was tried to a jury?  Was defense counsel asleep?

    Nice (none / 0) (#4)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:35:32 PM EST
    The actual perpetrator, his cousin, let him sit in jail.  

    The two were picked up after the crime, DNA was took to match some left at the crime seen and at some point the vials were swapped.

    This sucks, but it appears that even before the incident the crime had made changes to reduce human error.

    Seems like they did everything by the book and it's hard to find fault when some lab tech mixes up samples.

    It's one of those rare cases in which the cops didn't try to cover-up, they actually put the tech on admin leave, and contacted the right people once the error was discovered.

    Maybe he took the fall for his cousin. (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:46:31 PM EST
    They must be (none / 0) (#6)
    by Zorba on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:49:05 PM EST
    pretty close cousins, then.  I imagine that family reunions might be a bit awkward from now on.

    Perhaps just seeing "The Man With the (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:56:08 PM EST
    Motherf*cking Hat" influenced me!

    clearly, (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 05:11:40 PM EST
    they won't be seated next to each other at future thanksgiving dinners.

    Cousin can't make it: (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 06:02:26 PM EST
    Grissom will remain in a California prison, where he is serving a lengthy sentence for an unrelated crime, police said.

    Jeralyn, does this mean (none / 0) (#11)
    by Zorba on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 07:47:20 PM EST
    that people can stop taking CSI as total gospel?  The original show, of course, makes the Las Vegas crime lab seem god-like.  (Of course, my husband and my daughter, both of whom are scientists, have been known to explode in laughter and derision at some of what is shown in that show.)