Disgraced SFPD Forensic Tech Avoids Jail

Posted: August 20, 2013 in Justice
Tags: , , , ,

Former San Francisco Police Department crime lab technician Deborah Madden, who pled guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession after two federal trials on charges that resulted in hung juries, has avoided jail time.  She was sentenced in U.S. District Court to one-year home confinement, five years probation, $5,000 fine, and 300 hours of community service.  Prosecutors unsuccessfully tried to get Madden put in prison for at least one year.  Madden mishandled criminal evidence in 2009, which caused the dismissal of 700 cases.  Juries took pity on the 63-year-old who has been sober since the incidents and is likely one of many employees at the SFPD who tampered with evidence.  Testimony in the trials showed that it was common for crime lab technicians to “laugh” at discrepancies in the weight of drugs.  Amounts can result in significantly different sentences due to the US sentencing matrix and drug classification system.  Madden previously admitted that she started using cocaine when a friend suggested it to control her alcoholism.  She apologized in court and said, “I’m not proud of the way I ended my career…”  Since 2009, when she entered a drug rehab program, she has reportedly remained sober and is now taking classes at the College of San Mateo to become a drug and alcohol treatment counselor.


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