• Passaic County, NJ — A lab technician for the New Jersey State Police’s Office of Forensic Science has ‘retired’ early after being caught falsely identifying a substance as marijuana without conducting the proper tests. Laboratory Technician II Kamalkant Shah of the New Jersey State Police Laboratory (in Little Falls) fraudulent testing, overall, may have affected 7,827 drug cases on which he worked. Fallon also indicated the Little Falls crime lab provides testing for other law enforcement agencies across the state, not just the State Police.
• Taking it even further, In a new paper for the journal Criminal Justice Ethics, Roger Koppl and Meghan Sacks look at how the criminal justice system actually incentivizes wrongful convictions. In their section on state crime labs, they discover some astonishing new information about how many of these labs are funded.
• A north Georgia police chief and an officer have been arrested and accused of arresting people on fake charges and then reducing the charges to collect fines, authorities said Wednesday. Police chief David King, 58, and officer Blake Scheff, 26, of the White Police Department were charged Wednesday with false imprisonment, theft by extortion and violation of oath by a public officer, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman Greg Ramsey said.
• Louisiana is the world capital of incarceration. It locks up more of its citizens than anywhere else on the globe – some 1,341 out of every 100,000 people. Now the Pelican state is in the throes of a crisis that is certain to propel its already astronomical incarceration rate to new heights. Its public defender service, a network of state-funded lawyers that provides legal representation to poor Louisianans, is in meltdown, with most of its district offices set to cancel all new cases or close down entirely by next summer.
• PROVIDENCE, N.H. (March 4, 2016) – Giving citizens a huge tool against corrupt laws and false incarcerations a New Hampshire House committee has approved a bill that would make jury nullification an official aspect of the state legal system.
• This week’s Rider Of The 21st Century Underground Railroad is Vanessa Gathers. A Brooklyn Supreme Court in New York, Vacated her wrongful conviction from a deadly robbery a quarter century ago, Vanessa was exonerated Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 after prosecutors concluded she made a false confession to a detective whose tactics have come under question.
• Our Abolitionist in profile tonight is Matilda Joslyn Gage. 1826 -1898 She and her husband were abolitionists, and their home was reportedly part of the Underground Railroad.
Expect all of that and more tonight on New Abolitionists Radio.