Nassau DA to retest all felony drug evidence from crime lab

WOODBURY - Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that she intends to retest all felony drug samples that were tested at the now-closed county crime lab over the past three years, which amounts to about 3,000 cases. In her first public comment since a judge threw out a drunken-driving conviction because of problems at the Nassau crime lab, Rice said she also wants a review of all blood-alcohol testing done in the lab since 2006 - about 1,000 cases. "I think it's absolutely essential that we take steps to restore confidence in the criminal justice system," Rice said. Rice and County Executive Ed Mangano (R-Nassau) want to use police forfeiture funds to pay for the retesting of all the evidence. Defense lawyer Frank Yannelli applauded Rice for trying to assess the scope of the problem. He says he just found out the lab made a major mistake with evidence in one of his DWI cases. At this point, Rice doesn't believe problems at the lab extended to other evidence such as Breathalyzer tests and fingerprints.

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