Who says investigative journalism is dead?* SF Weekly’s Peter Jamison has been pursuing alleged instances instances of scientifically and ethically questionable conduct by DNA analysts at the beleaguered SFPD crime lab for a while now, including a DNA sample switch and subsequent coverup, and an expert’s memo criticizing the DNA lab that the DA’s office refuses to admit exists.

But there’s much, much more — and today Jamison unpacks it all for you, in a lengthy (but engrossing and readable) story on all sorts of DNA lab screwups and coverups.

Jamison backs up his reporting with a great, linked, paper trail blog post (seriously, every newspaper should do this) and provides a helpful timeline of the crime lab’s many, many problems.

It’s really quite remarkable — this of the most screwed up place you ever worked, and the crime lab is probably a lot like that! Except instead of, say, swapping out fat free for full fat frozen yogurt because your manager told you to hide the fact that the fat free is all moldy (my worst job was TCBY), someone’s swapping out DNA samples that mean trials and people’s lives are getting screwed up. Not their hot fudge sundaes.

Read it, you’ll see what I mean.

*Answer: people who aren’t paying attention, and/or panhandling charity news orgs.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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