Expert Witness Name: Janine Arvizu
Witness Summary: Janine Arvizu, most-recognized for her defense work highlighted in the Netflix documentary “Making of a Murderer,” holds herself out as an expert laboratory auditor. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. She was also admitted as a candidate for PhD in chemistry at the University of New Mexico, completing the coursework and exams but not defending the dissertation or obtaining the degree. This is noted on her CV and testified to by her as “ABD” or “all but dissertation.” The last time Arvizu did any work regarding this degree was in 1982, at the latest. Although Arvizu has extensive experience as a laboratory auditor, she has never run or even worked in a forensic laboratory. Nevertheless, she will opine whether a forensic laboratory has followed proper scientific procedures–specifically ISO standard protocols. However, when it comes to blood sample collection, she often has difficulty pointing to a specific standard to which a laboratory or collecting agencies must adhere–oftentimes trying to apply multiple standards to a single laboratory or sample collection entity, without being able to specifically state which one standard should apply. While Arvizu testifies regarding blood alcohol testing procedures, the last time she has used a gas chromatograph to test for the presence of alcohol in blood samples was in the early 1980s. Although she testifies that she is an independent laboratory auditor, she works primarily (if not exclusively) for the defense in criminal cases and has only been employed by the defense in forensic testing cases.