Joel A. Mogren
Attorney at Law
When experience counts 

111 East Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 1925
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Google Voice 414.367.4067
Is that "evidence" really "evidence"?

By Attorney Joel A. Mogren

The government routinely relies upon forensic evidence to convict defendants.  Several types of forensic evidence are routinely used in investigating criminal matters:  DNA analysis, fingerprint analysis, handwriting analysis, polygraph (lie detector), tool mark identification, hair and fiber analysis, pattern and impression (tires), bullet lead composition, blood-alcohol concentration (ethanol analysis). 


Some of the test results from these types of analyses are routinely introduced as evidence against defendants in courtrooms throughout the country via the use of “expert testimony.”


Unfortunately, these results are not nearly as reliable as the government would like to have juries believe.  Even worse, some prosecutors have deliberately covered up the fact that this unreliable evidence was used to convict innocent defendants, as detailed in a Washington Post article by Spencer S. Hsu. .


Attorney Mogren obtained several letters regarding the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene and its failure to be in compliance with Wisconsin State statute 343.305(6)(a) in June of 2010 when the lab received a proficiency testing score of 40% -- a failing grade.  This section of the statute regulates the testing of blood for the presence of alcohol.  As long as the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene complies with this section, these blood test results are routinely admitted in Operating A Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence cases.  Non-compliance with the statute generally means that the test results are not to be considered reliable, and therefore, should not be admitted as competent evidence against a defendant. 


Problematically, many defense attorneys were never informed by prosecutors that the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene had received a failing grade.  Whether the information was deliberately covered-up, so that Wisconsin prosecutors could wrongfully obtain convictions of innocent people is nearly impossible to determine. 


Defendants are routinely confronted by law enforcement with “evidence” that they claim guarantees a conviction.  Attorney Mogren understands that this “evidence” is not evidence at all, and that challenging the scientific validity of the “scientific” tests performed on the “evidence” may lead to an acquittal of his client.