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Push for double jeopardy laws after Queensland DNA lab debacle

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It was revealed this week that the lab has routinely failed to test samples under a certain threshold for the past four years.

The report stated ten per cent of untested samples could have crucial DNA results.

Many samples at Queensland’s crime lab were never tested for DNA. (Getty)

Labor MP Jonty Bush wrote a lengthy Facebook post expressing her outrage over the report.

“One of the only irrefutable pieces of information available in homicide trials is the presence of DNA evidence,” she wrote.

“It’s unlikely that these results have led to unlawful convictions, but I am certain that these results have led to cases being dropped, and tragically the acquittal of some violent perpetrators.”

Bush has called for action to be taken under the state’s double jeopardy laws.

“I’m not aware of one case that’s been re-tried under this legislation,” she said.

“But if ever there was a case to be made for considering this legislation it’s now.”

Robotic DNA assembly line where components of the coronavirus vaccine will be assembled.
Many DNA samples were never tested. (Paul Harris)

Criminal lawyer Bill Potts explained the double jeopardy legislation.

“It essentially means that people cannot be put on trial twice for the same offense unless there is something absolutely overwhelming in the way of new evidence,” he told 9News.

“The problem in this particular case is that the prosecution have always had, it seems, the evidence in their own hands. They just didn’t test it.”

The LNP opposition has already called for the Health Minister Yvette D’Ath to be sacked.

“This is a complete failure of the government and a complete failure of Yvette D’Ath,” Deputy Opposition Leader Jarrod Bleijie said.

The final report into the failings of the DNA lab won’t be released until closer to the end of the year.

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