When: This event originally occurred on September 14th, 2022 from 1pm – 3pm (EST). All presentations and materials have been archived for you to access as On-Demand content.

This webinar will provide a comprehensive discussion of wrongful convictions related to seized drug analysis. The session will examine case studies related to field drug testing, organizational deficiencies, and individual misconduct. The webinar will emphasize practical guidance to prevent future wrongful convictions.


Dr. John Morgan

John Morgan head shot

Dr. John Morgan is internationally recognized for his work in forensic science, body armor, special operations technology, and police technology. Dr. Morgan has served a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, Congressional Science Fellow of the American Physical Society, and Senior Director of the Center for Forensic Sciences at RTI International. He also served in the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Defense as a senior executive managing programs that encompass scientific research, public safety, military technology, special operations, information systems, and standards, including as Deputy Director for Science and Technology at the National Institute of Justice and the Combatting Terrorism Technology Support Office, as well as Command Science Advisor for the US Army Special Operations Command. He received the 2007 Service to America Medal for his work to improve the nation’s capacity to conduct DNA analysis.


The analysis of controlled substances is the most common forensic analysis performed in public crime laboratories and the most commonly outsourced type of forensic analysis. In addition, many materials are analyzed by law enforcement to determine if they contain controlled substances. Unsurprisingly given the volume of such work, errors can and do occur and may lead to wrongful convictions. This webinar provides a comprehensive review of these wrongful convictions, including root cause analysis and practical mitigation strategies.

While many errors relate to mistakes by an individual, wrongful convictions demonstrate that all errors relate to system and organizational deficiencies that are observable and can be ameliorated. Contributing factors may arise at any point from the crime scene to the courtroom, including evidence collection and tracking, laboratory analysis, quality assurance, communication of results, police investigation, and testimony. Thus, the most impactful responses will encompass systemic improvements in the entire process.

Specific case studies will encompass the full range of seized drug analysis, including field and laboratory drug testing. Misconduct and organizational dysfunction will be examined in detail due to their disparate level of importance in errors related to seized drug analysis. Cases will be discussed within their historical context, and special emphasis will be given to official reviews that provide generalizable insights. The material will include consideration of standards, quality assurance, technology improvements, and organizational policies. These factors will be related directly to root-cause analysis of wrongful convictions and mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of future wrongful convictions.

The student will receive supporting materials related to the issues and cases reviewed in the webinar, including case documentation and analysis. The instructor will answer questions during and after the webinar to provide further details and perspective, as needed.

*The course content has been reviewed by the ABFT and ABC, and determined to be acceptable for submission to the ABFT or ABC for continuing education credit.