SBI agents have cut corners, bullied the vulnerable and twisted reports and court testimony when the truth threatened to undermine their cases, our investigation of the SBI's work, policies and practices reveals.
The work of the SBI crime lab has been under fire since February, when Greg Taylor, an innocent man, was freed after judges learned an SBI serologist withheld crucial evidence that proved a stain on Taylor's SUV wasn't blood.
Legislators, prosecutors and defense attorneys are calling for changes in leadership and the law to re-establish the credibility of the State Bureau of Investigation in response to last week's News & Observer series "Agents' Secrets."
On Wednesday, Attorney General Roy Cooper took some bigs steps forward with the SBI crime lab: he named a respected and retired appeals court judge as interim director, and made brief remarks to the committee heading up the national search for a new lab director.
News & Observer journalists reviewed more than 15,000 pages of documents detailing crime lab protocol and practices and interviewed dozens of lawyers, ballistics experts, lab experts, state officials and those wronged by the SBI's mistakes.