Monthly Archives: July 2012
The prosecution’s evidence in many drunk driving cases relies heavily upon the testimony of a forensic toxicologist — an expert in blood and breath alcohol analysis. In most cases, these “experts” are not independent witnesses, but either work for the police crime lab or have lucrative contracts with law enforcement.
Increasingly over recent years, the role of these witnesses — who are presented to juries as objective and impartial scientists — has shifted from objectivity to one of being “team players” who will testify in support of the government’s case, regardless of the facts. And, unfortunately, the defendant is rarely able to afford a truly independent expert to present a more objective view of the blood or breath alcohol analysis.
Just as the objectivity of the prosecution’s “expert” has shifted, so has the incidence of these professional witness’ fraudulent qualifications…
Court’s Drug Expert Called a Fraud
Dallas, TX. July 2 – A presumed expert in alcohol, DNA and drug testing, who has testified in hundreds of family and criminal cases, is an unqualified imposter with no college degree, according to a class action in Dallas County Court.
Lead plaintiff B.W.D. sued James W. Turnage, his company Forensic DNA & Drug Testing Services, and Medtox Scientific, in Dallas County Court.
B.W.D. claims that as a result of Turnage’s flawed testimony, thousands of parents have lost access to their children and countless citizens are behind bars…
B.W.D. says Turnage holds himself out as an expert in drug testing and evaluating drug test results, and that Turnage has been appointed to do drug tests in custody disputes and criminal matters in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties for years.
“Turnage, however, lacks even the minimal educational requirements to work in any technical job in a licensed drug and alcohol testing laboratory,” the complaint states. “Turner has no college degree and is not a toxicologist; he is an imposter. He has masqueraded for years as a technical or scientific expert in the field of toxicology or drug and alcohol testing and has presented himself to the public and the courts as an expert witness by disseminating non-peer review papers to the legal community that contain false scientific information and data cut and pasted without cited references.”
The plaintiff claims that Turnage is qualified only to be a specimen collector, and has failed to distinguish between that job and that of a forensic toxicologist, who is a qualified expert with years of scientific training.
“The impact of Turnage’s unsupervised, unchecked, unregulated mishandling of specimens and his unregulated and unqualified interpretations of test results or deliberate manipulation of the process has a far reaching effect on the citizens of Dallas, Collin, Denton and Tarrant Counties,” the complaint states.
“Literally thousands of mothers and fathers have been denied possession of their children and countless number of citizens are behind bars based on Turnage’s handling of the specimens and his interpretation of the test results.”
B.W.D. says he submitted urine specimens to Turnage for drug tests, for a child custody matter in March 2010.
Five months later, B.W.D. claims, Turnage testified that a urine specimen he submitted that was analyzed by Medtox was invalid due to dilution.
B.W.D. claims Medtox’s results did not indicate dilution and that because of Turnage’s misrepresentation, he was forced to agree to weekly random urinalysis for alcohol and drugs, installation of a breathalyzer in his car for a year and other onerous terms, to maintain joint custody of his daughter…
B.W.D. claims he has taken about 60 tests with other labs contemporaneously with Turnage’s tests and passed all of them, yet several of Turnage’s test results have come back with false positives, have been resubmitted for retesting, have been tainted or invalidated or were sent to Medtox well beyond 24 hours after collection…
This was a civil child custody case, but as indicated in the story, the same “expert” testifies for the prosecution in criminal cases as well — presumably, to help convict citizens accused of drunk driving.
(Thanks to attorney Michael Kessler of Florida.)
I’ve often written in the past about the "Blue Code" — that is, the double standard we apply to police officers and their apparent immunity from suffering any consequences for their actions. See, for example, Guarding the Guardians, The Blue Code, The Blue Cover-Up and Crossing the Thin Blue Line.
Have you ever noticed how hard it is today to get rid of a bad cop?
The South Florida Cop Who Won’t Stay Fired
Miami, FL. June 30 – Opa-locka has the dubious distinction of employing the cop who can’t be fired. Though the city keeps on trying.
Sgt. German Bosque of the Opa-locka Police Department has been disciplined, suspended, fined and sent home with pay more than any officer in the state.
He has been accused of cracking the head of a handcuffed suspect, beating juveniles, hiding drugs in his police car, stealing from suspects, defying direct orders and lying and falsifying police reports. He once called in sick to take a vacation to Cancún and has engaged in a rash of unauthorized police chases, including one in which four people were killed.
Arrested and jailed three times, Bosque, 48, has been fired at least six times. Now under suspension pending yet another investigation into misconduct, Bosque stays home and collects his $60,000-a-year paycheck for doing nothing.
Before he was ever hired in Opa-locka 19 years ago, Bosque, whose nickname is GB, was tossed out of the police academy twice and fired from two police departments. Each time he has faced trouble he has been reinstated with back pay. He boldly brags about his ability to work a law enforcement system that allows bad cops to keep their certification even in the face of criminal charges….
By no means is Bosque the only police officer in South Florida to straddle both sides of the law, but his disciplinary record and his city’s inability to get rid of him are a study in how legal loopholes allow troubled cops to stay on the street…
I can just imagine cops like this out there filling their DUI quotas….