I am a member of several professional forensic Listservs. I opened up my email this morning and found some interesting posts, by colleague Brent E. Turvey, regarding yesterday's exposure of Dr. Meehan's unprofessional behavior.
Brent Turvey, of Forensic Solutions LLC, is a forensics scientist, criminal profiler, and consultant. He is the author of several forensics books including, Criminal Profiling, Rape Investigation Handbook, Criminal Profiling: An Introduction to Behavioral Evidence Analysis, and Crime Reconstruction.
I contacted Brent after reading his posts and requested further comments. He has kindly given me permission to copy his comments to this blog. I thought readers might be interested in seeing what a fellow forensic scientist has to say about Dr. Meehan's behavior.
No matter what field we are in, when colleagues fail to follow standard protocols and / or behave in an unethical or unprofessional manner, it sheds a bad light on all of us. The rest of us have worked too long and hard to create and maintain standards of protocol, to maintain our credibility, and our professionalism.
Those in the forensics field don't appreciate having a profession they take pride in being placed in an unfair light or subjected to scorn and ridicule because a small number choose to forget what professionalism is all about.
Brent Turvey, MS - Forensic Science:
" '... the intermixing of science and politics is a bad combination with a bad
history. We must remember the history, and be certain that what we present
to the world as knowledge is disinterested and honest.' "
- Crichton, M. (2004) State of Fear, New York: Harper-Collins Publisher;
to intentionally withhold exculpatory evidence from the defense, as he
testified to, is Brian Meehan. One look at his credentials and we can rule
out "oops" as an explanation for his decision.
Dr. Brian W. Meehan
"Prior to founding DNA Security, Inc., Dr. Meehan served at the Director
level of three major corporations in the field of DNA Identity Testing. He
developed one of the first integrated laboratory robotics and Laboratory
Information Management System (LIMS) for Chemiluminescent Detection of DNA
fragments and PCR technology. At DSI, Dr. Meehan has applied his past
experience and expertise to create a state of the art forensic laboratory
accredited by ASCLD/LAB. He has qualified as an expert witness for
courtroom testimony in six different states/jurisdictions including North Carolina, Michigan, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Pennsylvania."
This lab is also ASCLD certified. The lab director, Meehan, testified that
he did not follow his own protocols when failing to reveal this exculpatory
evidence to the defense. Surely now we can expect an investigation by ASCLD?
Or are they keeping their heads down on this one?"
Brent E. Turvey, MS - Forensic Science
Forensic Solutions, LLC
"Kathleen ... State prosecutorial agencies, and those in their employ, have a duty
disclose ALL potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense, per Brady v.
Maryland. What Dr. Meehan has admitted to, under oath, is that he personally
conspired with prosecutors to conceal actual exculpatory findings from the
defense. He has further testified that this is a violation of his own lab's
policies - policies that he would have written. There is no good reason for
such conduct, and there can be no excuses for such conduct. Moreover, Dr.
Meehan has admitted to contaminating suspect samples with his own DNA. In
other words, his house is not in order from a scientific perspective. A full
investigation by ASCLD, the agency that certifies his lab, is warranted.
This is no small matter for Dr. Meehan, or the private forensic lab
industry. Dr. Meehan's conduct in this case has single-handedly demonstrated
that privately funded and operated forensic labs are just as easily
influenced by zealous prosecutors as their government lab counterparts. And
to the question "Have you ever willfully conspired with the prosecution to
conceal evidence that you to be exculpatory?" - he must forever answer yes,
while under oath in future cases. For many in the forensic science
community, this would be a career headshot."