State Appeals Court Upholds Judge's Order Unsealing Secret DNA Lab Memo

A panel of state appeals-court judges has upheld a San Francisco Superior Court judge's order last month that District Attorney George Gascón release a secret memo describing problems with DNA analysis at the San Francisco Police Department crime lab.

The decision appeared to remove the last barrier for defense lawyers, who have been seeking to access the memo for months. In his ruling last month, Judge Charles Haines stated that the memo contains exculpatory information — and hinted that it might also contain evidence of criminal behavior or dishonesty by police department employees — and should be admitted as evidence in a murder case.

The DA's office immediately appealed the decision. But in a terse ruling handed down today, three judges in the first appellate district of the state of California rejected a petition by prosecutors to review and reverse Haines' decision.

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