Diversity Is Strength! It’s Also…Forensic Science Scandals

Annie DookhanAnnie Khan Dookhan

 “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT), may be dead in the military, but it is very much alive in the world of diversity hiring. ‘We won’t ask if you are qualified, and don’t tell if you aren’t.’

Law enforcement and criminal justice rely on modern, First-World police science—medical examiners, crime scene investigators, ballistics experts and forensic scientists. These people conduct autopsies; gather evidence at crime scenes; dust for fingerprints; test-fire and examine suspected murder weapons and ammunition; and weigh and test substances suspected to be drugs in narcotics cases.

If the “experts” are incompetent and/or dishonest, countless innocent people will be doomed to spend years in prison, some may even be executed, while the guilty will go free.

Thanks to the blessings of diversity, America has now reached this level of Keystone Kop police science.

  • In Boston on November 22, Trinidadian-born Annie Khan Dookhan [pictured above] pled guilty to 27 counts of “obstruction of justice, perjury, and tampering with evidence,” during the ten years that she was a Massachusetts state police chemist, and was sentenced by Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Carol S. Ball to three-to-five years in prison, and two years’ probation.

Judge Ball said:

“[T]he consequences of her behavior, which she ought to have foreseen, have been nothing short of catastrophic…. Innocent persons were incarcerated, guilty persons have been released to further endanger the public, millions and millions of public dollars are being expended to deal with the chaos Ms. Dookhan created, and the integrity of the criminal justice system has been shaken to the core.”

[Chemist who falsified drug tests in criminal cases goes to jail herself by Fabien Tepper, Christian Science Monitor, November 22, 2013.]

Dookhan’s misconduct-tainted cases involving over 40,000 defendants. So far, almost 350 convicted defendants have been released, and the state crime lab where Dookhan worked for ten years has been shuttered.

Dookhan lied in claiming to have a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts. All Human Resources had to do was contact the school where she claimed to have earned it. But it would be “racist” to scrutinize a diversity applicant’s bona fides.

While Dookhan was working ever more rapidly, her colleagues’ work had slowed down, due to a Supreme Court decision requiring drug analysts to appear in court. Quality control should have caught what she was up to—except that she was the head of quality control! She also violated security, and deliberately contaminated thousands of samples.

Finally, Dookhan maliciously claimed that thousands of samples that she had not tested—that’s how she could “complete” her work so rapidly—had tested positive for narcotics, and on top of that, lied about their weights, so as to turn offenses into higher-level crimes entailing longer sentences.

Dookhan was only caught when she forged a colleague’s initials on documents to remove samples she had no business touching.

My reader-researcher RC wrote,

She`s a twofer: A person of color as well as female.

How much will Taxachusetts pay to those whose civil rights were violated thanks to her falsified drug tests?

The answer: Potentially billions.

At least the winsome Dookhan has confessed to most of her crimes, and shown contrition. But what made her commit them?

Some observers suggested she sought to impress her superiors. However, I believe the simplest explanation is: she did it because she could. Dookhan worked in an institution in which, previously, applicants were thoroughly vetted prior to hiring, and worked in a secure environment under strong normative constraints on their behavior. But because she was a diversity hire, she found herself in a state of moral anomie, in which there was no vetting, security, or institutional constraints on her behavior. She was the proverbial kid in the candy shop.

Dookhan was merely the latest diversity police science scandal.

  • Joyce Gilchrist

Joyce Gilchrist

Gilchrist [above] was a legendary, black Oklahoma City Police Department forensic chemist whose (initially non-ironic) nickname was “Black Magic,” because for 21 years she was the consummate expert witness, her credibility unchallenged—until 2001:

“Oklahoma City Police Chief M.T. Berry on Tuesday fired forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist, whose lab techniques and testimony have been under scrutiny by federal, state and local investigators for several months.

“Gilchrist, 53, was fired for a variety of reasons, including “laboratory mismanagement, criticism from court challenges and flawed casework analysis,” according to a police statement.

[Police chief fires chemist after review by Ken Raymond, The Oklahoman, September 26, 2001.]

As I wrote in 2003 for Middle American News,

For years, Gilchrist’s critics claimed she had falsified evidence and given false testimony, which caused 23 men to be sentenced to death, eleven of whom were executed.

[NBC’s Law & Order: Entertainment Serving the Elite by Nicholas Stix, Middle American News, September, 2003]

Gilchrist has steadfastly insisted that she is innocent of any wrongdoing. She has never been criminally charged.

Millions of Americans learned about the Gilchrist scandal, when it was dramatized in 2001, in a “ripped from “Lisa Russo”, played by Diana Scarwidthe headlines” episode of the popular TV series, Law & Order, “Myth of Fingerprints.”

But, following the m.o. of liberal producer Dick Wolf’s show, his scriptwriters changed the rogue, black police chemist into a blonde, white woman. [“Lisa Russo”, played by Diana Scarwid, right ].

Also unlike reality, the fictionalized chemist was prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned.

  • Jonathan Salvador

Everyone who worked with Jonathan Salvador in Houston described him as a friendly, hard-working young man, who wanted to improve his work. Unfortunately, as he later admitted, he was in hopelessly over his head. Although he was a police chemist at a Texas Department of Public Safety lab, he did not understand chemistry.

Nevertheless, Salvador’s superiors were pleased with him, and he failed his way up the ladder. He was only caught when he substituted the drug lab results from one court case on an unrelated case. Suspended in February 2012, Salvador was either fired or quit in August, 2012 (reports conflict):

“[A]fter falsifying evidence, and acting ‘with total disregard for policy and procedure,’ according to an inspector general`s report.”

[Area prosecutors interpret duties to justice differently by Lisa Falkenberg, Houston Chronicle, March 19, 2013.]

And now, the verdicts in some 4,900 narcotics cases are in jeopardy. So far, 18 convictions have been overturned on which Salvador did lab work—for example,  this one.

A grand jury heard testimony on Salvador’s case last year, but did not indict him.

“A Texas state police crime lab scientist whose shoddy work may have tainted thousands of drug cases had been promoted despite a history of problems doing accurate and timely work, according a review by the Texas Forensic Science Commission.

“A commission report adopted Friday found that Houston crime lab worker Jonathan Salvador struggled with chemistry, was told to correct his work in about a third of his cases and, according to his supervisors, routinely scrambled to keep up with monthly work expectations.

[Texas crime lab worker had history of poor work; Review: despite shoddy work, worker moved up the ladder, WPRC News, April 5, 2013.]

On paper, Gilchrist, Dookhan, and Salvador were all qualified. They all had the requisite college degrees. And yet, they were all utterly unqualified.

Such scandals could have easily been prevented by exercising the hard-won knowledge that has grown out of generations of the development of tools such as college admissions and professional tests. But such tests had been ruled “racist” because blacks, Hispanics, and many other non-white groups did not do as well, on average, as whites and Northeast Asians did.

And so, in the mid-1960s, colleges began a massive program of sotto voce Affirmative Action, whereby first blacks, then members of all sorts of groups who on average could not come remotely close to meeting admissions requirements, were admitted. Once admitted, these students enjoyed collegiate social promotion and grade inflation.

Affirmative Action got a boost from the Supreme Court in 1971, when the Court ruled in Griggs v. Duke Power that requiring job tests of applicants, or for promotions within a firm was a form of racial discrimination, since blacks (who have a lower average IQ, 78-85, than whites, who average 100) don’t do as well on them, on average, as whites.

Griggs resulted in millions of young people being forced to attend college for no good reason, at great expense in time and money, to receive a substitute IQ test in the form of a college degree. This made Higher Ed, despite its constant cries of poverty, much richer and more powerful. However, faculty and officials engaged in ever more aggressive Affirmative Action, and thereby destroyed the value of the bachelor’s degree, and then even graduate degrees.

When companies that still care about quality seek valid but informal selection mechanisms, such as not hiring applicants with black underclass names like S—avious, academic pseudo-scholars accuse them of—what else?—racism. And if anyone dares notice this pattern of advantaging incompetents “of color,” followed by scandals, the same pseudo-scholars and activists cry “racism!”

There is no viable solution to the vicious cycle of Affirmative Action. An immigration moratorium would stop the scourge of additional waves of incompetent Third Worlders, but would not solve the problem of a country that has been kidnapped by racial socialists. For that malady, stronger medicine is indicated.

Nicholas Stix [email him] is a New York City-based journalist and researcher, much of whose work focuses on the nexus of race, crime, and education. He spent much of the 1990s teaching college in New York and New Jersey. His work has appeared in Chronicles, The New York Post, Weekly Standard, Daily News, New York Newsday, American Renaissance, Academic Questions, Ideas on Liberty and many other publications. Stix was the project director and principal author of the NPI report, The State of White America-2007. He blogs at Nicholas Stix, Uncensored.