Weapons of Mass Deception: State-run NC media continues their quest to destroy state SBI

About a month ago, I wrote a lengthy piece on how our “state-run” media here (liberal sister papers Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer) in North Carolina were trying to do their best to sabotage the work of the State Bureau of Investigation by falsely accusing and insinuating via a series of biased “investigations” – some based on an independent audit/review of the SBI’s serology unit that was much less “scathing” than reported – that the SBI routinely and deliberately withholds lab evidence that could be favorable to the defense.  As a result of that misread independent review, the systemic efforts of both Observer papers, and the continued crusade by “innocence” groups here in NC to keep the unofficial death penalty moratorium in place using any means necessary, state legislators are now in full tilt boogie mode to “right” these “wrongs” via demands for a top down review of all SBI lab units and calls for a new accrediting agency for the SBI.

An article published today in both the CO and RNO talks excitedly about the possibility of a change in the SBI’s accrediting agency, and includes a recap of “why” this has become “necessary” in the first place – and yet they still can’t get it right (bolded emphasis added by me):

RALEIGH State legislators on Thursday attacked the credibility of a laboratory accreditation group that gave the State Bureau of Investigation its seal of approval during years in which blood analysts withheld critical test results.

Leaders suggested that the SBI shop for a new accreditation group to replace the national ASCLD-LAB. Such pressure could sever the close relationship between the SBI and ASCLD-LAB, which has been headed since 1995 by one of the SBI’s own, Ralph Keaton. Keaton went to ASCLD-LAB after capping a 30-year career at the bureau.

On Thursday, legislators attempted to spread some blame to ASCLD-LAB for problems at the SBI.

“Does ASCLD have skin in this game?” asked Sen. Ed Jones, a Democrat from northeastern North Carolina and co-chairman of a committee to address issues at the SBI. “What’s their liability in this?”

That question has reverberated in recent months, intensified by realizations that ASCLD-LAB is managed by three former SBI officials and is headquartered off Interstate 40 in Garner, less than 10 miles from the SBI’s main crime lab.

The SBI has been under fire in recent months. The (Raleigh) News & Observer last month published a series, “Agents’ Secrets,” that showed that some analysts have pushed past the bounds of accepted science to deliver answers pleasing to prosecutors. In August, two former FBI officials released an audit of the SBI’s blood analysis unit that identified more than 200 cases tainted by withheld test results. To blame: lax leadership, misleading policies and analysts largely left to their own devices to decide how to report blood tests.

Sigh.  Read what I wrote about this “scandal” last month.  What the NC MSM’s latest “reporting” on this “issue” doesn’t tell you is that in the most serious of the cases referenced in that audit (death penalty cases), either one or both of the following were present: A confession and/or  confirmed positive DNA match.  I only researched the most serious of the cases for the obvious reason: No one wants to see an innocent man or woman put to death, but in how many other non-DP cases referenced in that audit was the situation the same, where there was other evidence present, either circumstantial or DNA, and/or the defendant confessed?  I suspect that most, after careful review by attorneys for the state and for the convicted criminals, are the same.   Not only that, but let’s – again – take a look at just how few cases overall the independent auditors found to be questionable.  From my August piece:

Not only is the report extremely informative, but so is Appendix B, which lists the 230 cases in question.  I read both the report and Appendix B and came away with a heck of a lot more information that I ever did or will from the Observer.  For example, on page 9 of the report, the review results were listed.  Out of 15,419 lab files (from Jan. 1987 – Jan. 2003) containing one or more serology tests, 932 cases (6%) were identified that contained blood result language similar to the Taylor case.    From those 932 cases, 230 – 7 of which were death penalty cases – “contained at least one instance where the lab notes reflected that a positive presumptive test for the presence of blood was followed by a confirmatory test that yielded results that were ‘negative’, ‘inconclusive’, or ‘no result’, but did not include this information in the final report. This represents 1.49% of the serology files from 1987-2003.”

Got that? At issue were less than 2% of the nearly 15,500 lab files pulled for consideration. Yet we’re supposed to believe that the SBI was plagued with system-wide problems as a result of intentional malice towards the defendants? I don’t think so.

Also on page 9 and 10, the reviewers pointed out that of the 230 cases, 40 involved investigations where authorities either could not ID a suspect or no charges were filed.  An additional 20 cases were either dismissed or the defendants were found not guilty. To my knowledge, you will not find this information in a single media report.

Other things you should know are listed on pages 10 and 11, where they list the 4 cases each category fell in.  Category 4 was the most troubling – and all involved SBI agent Deaver (who – of all the agents named in the report – is the only one I have a real issue with), but only five cases were at play in that category, one of which was the death penalty case of Desmond Carter, which I talked about earlier.  And category 1, which involved 85 cases, should not have even been included in the report, in my opinion.  The footnotes on that page note that the even the reviewers had a “considerable debate” over whether or not to include this category. 

Yet the Observers don’t tell you any of this, do they?  Of course not.  Both liberal papers are driven by an anti-death penalty/”the criminal is the real victim” agenda and they report their “facts” accordingly in hopes that they can convince you of this, too.  They want you to think that because a tiny handful of cases allegedly had “evidence withheld” (when in fact in the most serious cases legitimate, damning evidence against the defendant was NOT withheld, as my report confirmed) that the entire SBI is not only corrupt but is also deliberately “unfair” to the defense.

Baloney.

But not only are the Observers gleeful about the possibility of “change” happening at the SBI, they also subtly slip into their reporting the fact that the current SBI accrediting agency is also the same agency that accredits the vast majority of other SBIs around the country – hinting around that top down reviews are needed in those states as well:

ASCLD-LAB, which accredits the vast majority of forensic crime labs in America, had granted accreditation to the SBI every five years starting in 1988. It offered no guidance and did not enforce requirements for specific language in reports. A team of auditors inspected the lab every five years, reviewing five cases for each analyst. SBI leaders selected the cases auditors reviewed.

As I said before, I have no issue with a thorough audit of all SBI lab departments just to be on the safe side, and my point is not to suggest that the NC SBI is perfect in how it conducts its operations.  My beef is with how state legislators – mostly Democrats, and the state-run media – mostly Democrats,  have overhyped and sensationalized their reporting about the SBI in a way that severely misleads the public into thinking that they can’t trust the criminal justice system in its pursuit of justice because “many innocents may be wrongly convicted” thanks to a state SBI who – if you listen to these legislators and media types – cares nothing about the concept of fairness when it comes to analyzing evidence.    The job of the media, in particular, is not to cater to a particular mindset based on the mindsets of those sitting in the newsrooms typing out their stories but instead to report honestly and objectively and let the reader come to their own conclusions.

I often hear people refer to liberal papers like the NYT, the WaPo, the Charlotte Observer, etc as “fishwrappers.”  I’m not so sure that’s fair to the dead fish, because these papers absolutely stink on their own, dead fish wrapped inside or not.   And at least with a dead fish waiting to be cooked and eaten, something good will eventually come of it.  The same cannot be said and will never be said for sneaky, agenda-driven liberal news outlets who have abdicated their responsibility to impartially inform and who instead are now in the business of agenda-driven mass deception.

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