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Officials from the chief medical examiner’s office in New York City were furious when they heard that Marina Stajic, one of their longest-serving laboratory directors, had openly questioned whether they had sufficiently verified the reliability of a novel form of DNA testing being used in criminal cases.
Ms. Stajic was concerned that incorrect use of the DNA testing technique could lead to wrongful convictions, she said. But her bosses took her questioning in a different light.
“Hold me down,” Dr. Barbara Sampson, the city’s medical examiner, wrote in an internal email to a colleague in 2014, when she found out that Ms. Stajic had voted on a state panel to compel the office to release a study proving the technique’s validity. “She sucks,” a lawyer for the office wrote about Ms. Stajic, in another internal email.
Ms. Stajic, who was fired from the medical examiner’s office about six months later, sued in 2016, claiming she was pushed out in part because she had challenged the controversial DNA testing technique. On Monday, the city agreed to settle her case for million.
Ms. Stajic, 69, said she felt vindicated. “As a forensic scientist, I am fully aware of the importance of validating each study,” she said in an interview. “My concern was if that study was not done, there could be wrongful convictions. And if the wrong people were convicted, that would mean the wrong person would be walking free.”
The city and the Office of Chief Medical Examiner said Monday that the settlement did not mean that Ms. Stajic was treated inappropriately. In pretrial papers, its directors had argued that there had been some unrelated concerns over how she managed her laboratory.
“The chief medical examiner’s decision was justified and appropriate,” said Nicholas Paolucci, the spokesman for the city’s Law Department. “However, based upon our legal assessment of the case, we determined that a settlement was in the best interest of the city.”
Ms. Stajic’s case, even without going to trial, shed light on the inner workings of a city agency that is often assumed to be untouched by political pressure. But the case’s bigger legacy may be one bit of information that her attorneys say came out in the lawsuit: They said it proved the city had never performed the study of the DNA technique as it had claimed.
The city argued it had conducted sufficient testing of the technique, known as Low Copy Number DNA testing. “OCME stands behinds its science,” Aja Worthy-Davis, a spokeswoman for the office of the chief medical examiner, said.
Low Copy Number testing involves very minute amounts of DNA — often lifted from crime scene surfaces, such as weapon handles or bicycle handlebars, that multiple people have touched. The city first adopted this technique in 2006, and it is estimated to have been used in thousands of cases before it was phased out in January 2017. New York was the only crime lab in the country believed to have used the method.
Barry Scheck, a member of the state forensic panel and a criminal defense attorney known for his litigation on DNA technology, said that at a meeting of the State Commission on Forensic Science in October 2014, he had asked for a study proving that the method had been validated for use on extremely small genetic samples that contained DNA from more than one person, in conditions typical of a crime scene. Such samples were showing up in courtrooms as evidence, he said.
The medical examiner’s office had claimed it had done such a study, but refused to release it.
Ms. Stajic voted with Mr. Scheck and another panel member, also a defense attorney, to compel the release of the study. Even though the measure failed to pass, internal emails among her bosses showed how upset they were by her decision to side against her own agency and with the defense attorneys.
Ms. Stajic had been director of the toxicology laboratory at the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner since 1986. She had served as a governor-appointed commissioner on the state forensics panel since 2004.
As a commissioner, she oversaw some of the operations of her own agency, which at times led to tension with her bosses when she spoke her mind. She had also clashed with Dr. Sampson in 2013, when, in her role as commissioner, she had questioned whether the director of another lab at the city medical examiner’s office, Dr. Mechthild Prinz, had been forced out unfairly, her lawsuit said.
But her vote on the panel in 2014 seemed to be a tipping point.
Kevin Mintzer, one of Ms. Stajic’s attorneys, said that scientific data released in pretrial discovery in Ms. Stajic’s case showed that the study voted on during the panel meeting had never actually been done, proving her suspicions right.
Mr. Scheck said: “Not only is it wrong as a matter of science and good public policy to retaliate against someone who is just voting to disclose a validation study, but now it turns out they never did the study.”
Timothy Kupferschmid, the chief of laboratories for the medical examiner’s office, wrote in a 2016 memo to his colleagues that Low Copy Number DNA testing was being replaced with a newer technique, without mentioning the controversy over its use or concerns over its reliability.
Jessica Goldthwaite, a staff attorney with the DNA Unit of the Legal Aid Society in New York City, said that she believed the city actually stopped using the technique because “the risk of unreliable results was too high.” She noted that there may still be old cases that are using evidence analyzed with the technique.
“Dr. Stajic did the right thing,” she said. “She stood up for transparency, accountability and science as a member of the commission, but that’s what a good scientist would do. She said look, you are making a claim, show us the data to back it up.”B:
【冬】【天】【的】【傍】【晚】【来】【得】【很】【早】。 【阿】【姨】【看】【外】【面】【天】【色】【已】【黑】，【很】【快】【起】【身】【告】【辞】，【我】【帮】【着】【妈】【妈】【收】【拾】【厨】【房】。 【不】【知】【为】【什】【么】，【她】【从】【晚】【上】【起】【就】【很】【沉】【默】，【这】【不】【像】【她】，【她】【一】【直】【喜】【欢】【拉】【着】【我】【家】【长】【里】【短】【地】【说】【话】。 “【妈】【妈】，【阿】【姨】【心】【情】【不】【好】【吗】？”【我】【打】【破】【沉】【默】。 “【你】【怎】【么】【知】【道】？”【她】【一】【边】【涮】【抹】【布】【一】【边】【问】。 “【我】【猜】【的】，【感】【觉】【你】【们】【俩】【聊】【天】【时】【表】【情】【都】
【沈】【清】【水】【发】【烧】【烧】【了】【两】【天】，【都】【是】【林】【茵】【茵】【在】【照】【顾】，【虽】【然】【她】【必】【须】【紧】【急】【抱】【佛】【脚】【看】【笔】【记】，【但】【还】【是】【牺】【牲】【时】【间】【照】【顾】【她】【了】。 【可】【能】【就】【是】【因】【为】【这】【样】【被】【照】【顾】【了】【两】【天】，【所】【以】【第】【三】【天】【的】【时】【候】，【林】【茵】【茵】【稍】【微】【的】【神】【情】【不】【对】【劲】，【沈】【清】【水】【就】【看】【出】【来】【了】。 “【你】【有】【事】？”【她】【合】【上】【书】，【看】【向】【林】【茵】【茵】。 【对】【方】【只】【敷】【衍】【的】【摇】【了】【一】【下】【头】，“【没】【事】。【你】【还】【有】【别】【的】【笔】【记】【么】
【阿】【萝】【房】【内】【的】【烛】【火】【被】【风】【吹】【灭】【了】，【明】【心】【再】【进】【来】，【点】【燃】【烛】【火】【时】【看】【见】【阿】【萝】【抱】【团】【卷】【缩】【在】【墙】【角】【处】。【她】【说】，【明】【心】，【别】【丢】【下】【我】【一】【个】【人】，【我】【怕】【黑】。 【他】【突】【然】【很】【心】【疼】【眼】【前】【这】【个】【女】【子】，【曾】【经】【天】【不】【怕】【地】【不】【怕】，【历】【经】【千】【万】【磨】【难】【却】【开】【始】【怕】【黑】。 “【别】【怕】，【有】【小】【僧】【在】。”【明】【心】【抬】【起】【一】【盏】【烛】【灯】【走】【近】【阿】【萝】，【轻】【轻】【把】【烛】【灯】【放】【在】【侧】【边】。【明】【心】【刚】【刚】【转】【头】【看】【向】【阿】【萝】，
【言】【情】【系】【统】，【里】【面】【各】【种】【女】【主】【出】【没】 【看】【多】【了】【男】【人】【穿】【越】【异】【世】【养】【成】【门】【派】【的】【故】【事】，【你】【见】【过】【女】【的】【成】【为】【一】【宗】【之】【主】【的】【么】。 【从】【微】【末】【崛】【起】【直】【到】【成】【为】【天】【底】【下】【最】【大】【的】【仙】【门】，【姜】【秋】【月】【经】【历】【了】【不】【为】【人】【知】【的】【故】【事】，【而】【一】【开】【始】，【她】【不】【过】【是】【想】【给】【这】【群】【无】【家】【可】【归】【的】【孩】【子】【一】【个】【家】【而】【已】，【谁】【知】【道】【后】【来】【养】【成】【了】【一】【个】【个】【的】【美】【男】【子】。 【慈】【悲】【道】 【她】【对】【万】【物】【慈】【悲】，【却】
【经】【过】【人】【脸】【识】【别】【数】【据】【库】【的】【信】【息】【匹】【配】，【警】【方】【很】【快】【就】【联】【系】【上】【了】【燨】【燨】【的】【父】【母】。【当】【他】【们】【得】【知】【女】【儿】【被】【找】【到】【的】【消】【息】【之】【后】，【感】【到】【十】【分】【震】【惊】，【因】【为】【燨】【燨】【已】【经】【失】【踪】【了】【将】【近】【两】【年】，【所】【有】【人】【都】【告】【诉】【他】【们】【俩】，【他】【们】【的】【女】【儿】【几】【乎】【不】【可】【能】【生】【还】。 “【老】【公】，【我】【没】【有】【听】【错】【吧】？”【燨】【燨】【母】【亲】【的】【双】【眼】【已】【经】【彻】【底】【地】【湿】【润】【了】。 【王】【学】【之】【立】【马】【拥】【抱】【住】【自】【己】【的】【妻】【子】，【同】
“【别】【叫】【唤】【了】，【爷】【爷】【现】【在】【就】【来】，【一】【手】【打】【爆】【你】【的】【狗】【头】，【一】【手】【剥】【了】【你】【的】【皮】！”【顾】【曦】【目】【光】【一】【寒】，【冷】【言】【道】。 【纵】【身】【一】【跃】，【顾】【曦】【面】【露】【杀】【机】，【跳】【上】【沙】【场】。 【沙】【场】【上】，【两】【股】【磅】【礴】【的】【血】【气】【遥】【遥】【对】【立】，【岳】【三】【豹】【是】【本】【次】【大】【比】【中】【最】【大】【的】【黑】【马】，【顾】【曦】【则】【是】【实】【力】【深】【不】【可】【测】。 【一】【瞬】【间】，【场】【上】【的】【气】【氛】【又】【开】【始】【活】【跃】【起】【来】，【毕】【竟】【没】【有】【人】【不】【想】【看】【两】【大】【天】【才】【之】
【红】【红】【马】【上】【飞】【过】【去】，【想】【把】【慕】【容】【雪】【倾】【抢】【回】【来】，【但】【是】，【他】【不】【能】【动】【用】【法】【术】【将】【她】【移】【走】。 “【啊】~”【抓】【着】【自】【己】【头】【顶】【的】【彼】【岸】【花】，“【老】【天】【呐】，【告】【诉】【我】【该】【怎】【么】【办】？” 【见】【君】【邪】【痕】【把】【慕】【容】【雪】【倾】【抱】【走】，【红】【红】【马】【上】【跟】【上】【去】，【即】【便】【不】【能】【把】【姐】【姐】【带】【走】，【但】【是】【也】【能】【监】【督】【君】【邪】【痕】，【不】【让】【姐】【姐】【受】【到】【欺】【负】。 【将】【慕】【容】【雪】【倾】【抱】【出】【池】【子】，【来】【到】【了】【一】【个】【环】【境】【清】【幽】【安】