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Newfoundland and Labrador police review homicide evidence after DNA mix up


January 27, 2020
By The Canadian Press

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Police in Newfoundland and Labrador say a review of homicide files following a case of DNA cross-contamination has revealed no problems with evidence in other cases.

Lloyd Strickland, the province’s assistant director of public prosecutions, says the chief medical examiner’s office was notified by the RCMP on Sept. 30 that DNA from one homicide victim had surfaced in another case.

A spokesman for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says that in light of the news, the police force’s director of forensics reviewed homicide cases dating back to January 2016 but found no cause for concern.

Strickland says the prosecutions office received the reports on homicide cases and will share them with legal teams in “appropriate cases.”

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One unrelated homicide trial has been delayed as legal teams considered possible implications, but Strickland says he’s not aware of any other cases affected.

Strickland says the incident does not appear to have affected the strength of evidence in any case, but public prosecutions will be advising defence counsel in cases where the issue “might be relevant.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2020.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2020