Lawyers: Lab woes could lead to 1,000s of appeals

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

DENVER (AP) -- Defense lawyers say potentially thousands of criminal convictions could be appealed because of problems at a state laboratory that tests drunk-driving suspects' blood.

Members of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar said Monday the appeals could come in cases as serious as vehicular homicides.

They also questioned why an official report on the problems wasn't released until Friday when it was completed in March.

The report said some employees of the state health department lab complained that a supervisor appeared to be biased in favor of prosecutors. The report also said refrigerators containing blood samples were unlocked.

Health department officials said Monday the problem was primarily a personnel matter and they acted promptly. They transferred the supervisor, who later retired.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General John Suthers didn't immediate return calls.

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