Criminal cases that utilized handwriting analysis performed by the Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division are being re-examined after it was uncovered earlier this year that Oregon State Police handwriting analysts may have tainted evidence in those cases. The Questioned Document Unit, which handles handwriting analysis, was shut down in April of this year after it was discovered that analysts working in the lab did not use agency procedures in a criminal case. The two analysts involved have been suspended with pay and the head of the Forensic Services Division was reassigned and subsequently retired.
Over 30 cases are being reviewed by examiners outside the Oregon State Police crime lab, and more may follow as law enforcement agencies continue to submit additional documents for review. Analysis in serious pending cases is being sent out to FBI examiners in Quantico, VA. Examples of the types of documents examined by the Questioned Document Unit include any type of handwritten document, such as wills, checks, letters, and demand notes in robberies.
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