Drug Conviction Tossed, Error-Prone Crime Lab Cited

The lab was shut down in February after repeated failures.

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012  |  Updated 8:24 AM EDT
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NY IG: Nassau's Crime Lab "Dysfunctional"

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NY IG: Nassau's Crime Lab "Dysfunctional"

Nine months after a Long Island crime lab was shut down because of repeated and widespread errors, an inspector general has issued a 170-page report criticizing officials for failing to act on signs that the lab was rife with problems. Jonathan Dienst has more.
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A judge has set aside a man's conviction after prosecutors agreed to a motion by his lawyers to have it tossed due to faulty testing at the now-shuttered Nassau County police crime lab.     

Defense attorneys told Newsday the case marks the first time a drug conviction has been dismissed after a trial verdict because of evidence testing errors at the lab.     

A jury convicted Khurram Shahzad in 2010 after police said they found cocaine in his glove compartment after stopping him for a traffic violation.  

He denied knowledge of the drug.     

Prosecutors said they consented to the defense motion but did not "concede the facts'' in it.     

The defense had argued the conviction was unfair because the jury didn't know about the lab's testing problems.     

Police declined to comment.

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