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.
“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.