Officials launch investigation on blood test results
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A new Broward County Medical Examiner is looking to see whether bad blood tests may have affected the outcome of thousands of court cases.
New Broward medical examiner Dr. Craig Mallak, who was appointed back in April and replaced 17-year veteran Dr. Joshua Perper, has conducted a review on the facility's drug testing in August.
Mallak notified the Broward State Attorney and other county officials via a letter on Tuesday, telling them the method they had been using for years to test blood for drugs had not been previously validated.
In the letter, Mallak said: "I made an immediate decision to shut down the lab and have samples sent to an external accredited laboratory. Most likely the results provided to the State Attorneys Office in the past have been accurate. But approximately 3,600 individual cases over the last 10 years will be reviewed."
The tests that are in question are those measuring drugs present in the bodily fluids of suspects and victims.
When all the cases are reviewed, it will be up to the state attorney and public defender Howard Finkelstein to decide what to do with the information. "If it's not accurate, that could throw into question convictions of DUI where the person was driving under the influence of drugs, DUI manslaughter and even murder cases," said Finkelstein. "The really sad part here is if we have inaccurate results, there could be people who are absolutely innocent sitting in prison as a direct result."
Officials are now waiting on the new blood results.
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