Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Calling All Californians -- Urgent Help Needed for Our Labs

Did you know that in the State of California, there are more minimum requirements set by the state for the training of the person who cuts your hair than there are for those who examine evidence in murder cases?

If you live in California (or are willing to contact a friend or relative there to ask for help for crime labs, please fell free to forward this message):

Legislation to help California crime labs is now on the governor's desk. Assembly Bill 1079 would create a task force to conduct a much-needed review of the state of forensic science labs in the state. AB1079 was passed in the State Senate and Assembly, but Governor Schwarzenegger has thus far refused to sign it into law. We hope to avoid a veto of this important bill, and your help is urgently needed!

Please call, fax, e-mail or write a letter to the governor as soon as possible!

Here's the contact info:

The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor of California
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633
E-mail via http://gov.ca.gov/interact

Here is a sample letter:

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

I am writing to express my strong support for AB1079, which would create the Crime Laboratory Review Task Force.

California's eleven state and nineteen local crime labs provide a wide range of forensic science services. However, there are no universal standards for certification for criminalists in California nor is there a mandatory requirement that all crime laboratories meet minimum standards. These labs evolved over decades without any statewide planning, review, or coordination to maximize their capabilities and effectiveness.

Our labs play a critical role in law enforcement, justice, and public health and safety. I urge you to sign AB1079 so that we may make the best use of this invaluable asset to our state.


[include your name, address and phone number when signing.]

Thank you! Please send a copy of your letter or e-mail message to
"contact [[@ ]] crime lab project.com"
(remove all brackets and spaces in anything between the quotation marks, and don't include the quotation marks, either.)

If you want to read the legislation itself, please click here to see the original version -- or to see it as amended, click here and search by Bill Number for AB1079.


Kathryn Lilley said...

That's amazing, Jan, that there aren't strict qualifications for labs and the the criminalists who process evidence. I live in California, so I'll take a look at the legislation and go from there. Do you have any idea why the governor objects to the idea of the task force? Is someone lobbying against it?

Kathryn Lilley said...

So, I sent a letter through the Governor's web site--but it didn't let me make a copy to send to you. That seemed to be the only way to do it--when I tried to send it directly by using the address, Yahoo mail choked. Best, Kathryn