In response to the arrest of a forensic lab analyst who worked for the San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, District Attorney Chesa Boudin on Friday announced he’s comprised a list of prosecutions that may have been impacted by the analyst’s misconduct.
Justin Volk was arrested Aug. 31 by sheriff’s deputies in Washington County, Utah after they reportedly found an evidence bag and methamphetamine in his vehicle.
Volk, who worked for the OCME for 13 years, was ultimately charged by Washington County prosecutors with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Immediately afterward, Boudin said Volk’s arrest undermined the credibility of cases he was involved in.
As a result, prosecutors had to go through some 2,500 cases to determine Volk’s level of involvement and whether they resulted in convictions — including 500 death investigations; 1,200 sexual assault investigations; and 800 DIU investigations — to ensure the cases didn’t result in tainted convictions or punishments.
Prosecutors have posted a list online of the cases that may have been impacted by Volk in a bid to provide transparency and allow those whose cases may have been affected to explore their options. The list will continue to be updated as Volk remains under investigation, Boudin’s office said.
Boudin said in a statement:
“My office has acted with great urgency in responding to the allegations against Justin Volk, and we have prioritized working to review all convictions in cases in which he was involved. Ensuring the integrity of our convictions is of the utmost importance, and for that reason, we are publishing this information as part of our commitment to integrity and transparency in the criminal legal system.”
Boudin’s office has estimated a surge in appellate filings and requests for new trials could cost the District Attorney’s Office $455,731.
Boudin is encouraging anyone whose information is included in the list or who otherwise believes Volk may have played a role in their case to contact their defense attorney to discuss options.
The list can be found at https://sfdistrictattorney.org/resources/ocme-case-list.