Wednesday, November 16, 2005

WSBA considering amicus brief in case re DNA evidence gathering

[CASE] Twenty years after a 13-year-old girl was found raped and murdered, the police tried to match up DNA evidence with a suspect (the man who had been the boyfriend of the girl's older sister). They sent a letter to the defendant (he was then living in New Jersey), on the letterhead of a fictitious law firm, inviting him to join a fictitious class action. When he replied, they obtained enough saliva from the envelope he'd licked to match the DNA sample.

The Washington State Bar Association has been asked to write an amicus brief in the defendant's appeal to the Washington State Supreme Court, State v. Athan. The amicus committee recommends that "the appropriate issue to be addressed by the WSBA is the detrimental effect on the bar and the administration of justice if police are allowed to falsely pose as lawyers." The Board of Governors invites comments, and will decide at its next meeting, December 9-10. For more information see Notice of Request for WSBA to File Amicus Curiae Brief.

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