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Rice Alerts Inmates About Crime Lab Woes


Nassau County prosecutors have sent letters to nearly 300 inmates serving time for drug and drunk-driving convictions to alert them to issues raised by the trouble police crime lab.

The crime lab was closed last month after errors were found with drug-test results and it was revealed blood-alcohol-content paperwork was mixed up by lab technicians in several drunken-driving cases.

Letters mailed this week to 244 inmates in upstate New York prisons and 39 inmates at the Nassau County jail included contact information for attorneys.


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“It’s not enough to assume these inmates read the papers or that their prior lawyers will look them up,” District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement. “I felt strongly that we should proactively inform them.”

She also created a team of prosecutors who will handle the fallout created by the police crime lab, which is currently under investigation by the state Inspector General.

A judge recently ordered a re-trial in a drunken-driving case based on questions at the crime lab. The ruling is expected to lead to a flood of appeals from criminal defense attorneys.

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