Special Reports

August 19, 2010

Testimony on blood tests changed

Since 2009, SBI officials and analysts have struggled to explain their serology work in the case of Greg Taylor, a Wake County man exonerated in February after serving 17 years in prison. Here is a sampling of their explanations.

Since 2009, SBI officials and analysts have struggled to explain their serology work in the case of Greg Taylor, a Wake County man exonerated in February after serving 17 years in prison. Here is a sampling of their explanations.

1991: Deaver reported that Taylor's truck gave chemical indications for the presence of blood. He did not report that he had performed more sophisticated, confirmatory tests and got negative results.

September 2009: Deaver told the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission that he had not performed additional testing used to confirm the presence of blood.

Feb. 2 : Deaver tells Wake County prosecutors that he got no results from his confirmatory tests.

February : Deaver tells a three-judge panel that he was told how to write his reports. He testified: "We were given the wording that we were to use based on the results that we achieved."

Feb. 26: Robin Pendergraft, a week after Taylor's exoneration, defended Deaver's work. Pendergraft, who has been replaced as SBI director, said that it was standard practice to report only tests that give positive results for blood, even when more sophisticated testing puts that result in question. She said prosecutors should have asked for Deaver's bench notes, which he kept as he analyzed evidence.

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