false drug testsOn April 25, 2016, in the wake of startling revelations that a laboratory technician at the New Jersey State Police Laboratory in Little Falls had been falsifying test results, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an order centralizing the litigation of all post-conviction challenges in the State before a single judge.  The order appointed Bergen County Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian to handle all post-conviction litigation in which Kamalkant Shah, the laboratory technician found to have faked results, was either the primary laboratory examiner, conducted peer review, or conducted administrative review of purported drug evidence.  Pending cases predicated upon Shah’s laboratory work are to remain with the judges presently assigned under the order.

Shah was the primary laboratory examiner in 7,827 cases, conducted peer review in 970 cases, and conducted administrative review in 1,622 cases in the ten years he worked for the lab, from 2005 to 2015.  A firestorm of controversy erupted on February 29, 2016 when the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office disclosed to the Office of the Public Defender and representatives of the criminal defense bar that Shah was observed “writing ‘test results’ to suspected marijuana that was never tested.”    

It was later revealed that Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig advised County Prosecutors on February 22, 2016 by letter that Shah had “failed to appropriately conduct laboratory analyses in a drug case” and that his failure should be disclosed to defense counsel. According to NJ Advance Media, which was provided a copy of the February 22 letter, “Mr. Shah was observed in one case spending insufficient time analyzing a substance to determine if it was marijuana and recording an anticipated result without properly conducting the analysis.”

If you or a family member has been wrongly convicted of a drug crime in NJ based on tests that you feel were either not completed or falsely reported, contact an experienced criminal attorney. The experienced attorneys at Robert G. Stahl Criminal Defense Lawyers aggressively defend individuals charged with drug crimes. To contact us to discuss your case, call 908-301-9001 for our Westfield, New Jersey office and 212-755-3300 for our New York City office, or email us at rstahl@stahlesq.com.

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