EDMONTON - Justice officials reviewing the work of a former forensic pathologist in Alberta have found mistakes in 13 of 14 cases.

A review by an independent medical panel was announced early this year to look into the files of Dr. Evan Matshes. He worked at the Calgary medical examiner's office for one year before he left in 2011. Matshes worked on 426 death investigations, including 262 autopsies, during that time.

"The panel found the conclusions reached by Dr. Matshes to be unreasonable regarding either the cause of death, manner of death and/or other opinions," the Alberta government said in a news release Thursday.

Of the 14 cases examined by the panel, three resulted in criminal prosecutions. Two are currently before the courts and one has concluded.

A dedicated Crown prosecutor is doing a separate review of Matshes's files to see if any mistakes interfered with the court process.

Justice spokeswoman Michelle Davio said 24 people have been accused of crimes in deaths the doctor investigated. She said one person in a case where mistakes were found is in custody.

"No criminal prosecutions have been reopened, nor have any of the cases been lost to date solely as a result of the doctor's evidence," Davio said.

Defence lawyers handling the cases have been notified, she added.

Ian Savage, co-president of the Calgary Defence Lawyers Association, said the matter is concerning.

"If there's even a small chance that testimony he gave in court, or reports that he prepared that were used in court, were incorrect in any way and led to the wrongful conviction of an innocent person, that's obviously something that needs to be rectified."

Savage said it's also disappointing the prosecutor is still looking into the criminal cases, considering the review was announced 10 months ago.

Calgary defence lawyer Jack Kelly said he's pleased justice officials are reviewing the doctor's criminal work. But he said it's unfortunate that the courts place so much reliance on medical examiner's reports. Many accused simply can't afford to get a second opinion from another pathologist, he noted.

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  • This is Gemma's favourite tattoo, and one she has managed to find a photograph of on the man during his lifetime. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • This is the famous 'Child of Misfortune'. I think that it's such a poignant thing to tattoo on your body, and for the tattoo to then outlive you as well, it's quite tragic really. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • This one is like compacted cardboard, it's so tough. The surface feels kind of soft, you can feel the trace chemicals - the preservation process has left a chemical film, which is why it's discoloured this orange colour. The tattoo is a nautical star, and lower there is a large female portrait (not pictured). From the looking at the curved grooves towards upper edge, this skin has most likely come from a shoulder. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • This is just the perfect collection of sailor tattoos - fouled anchor, creature of the sea, betrayal in love, the name tattooed as an identifying mark. It's like a narrative. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • This is a strongman, one of a small number of circus tattoos in the collection. There's also a tightrope walker and a juggler. It's a possibility that these tattoos belonged to circus performers. They stand out in the collection, there's not very many of them, although there is a similar collection in Paris, and there are quite a few circus performer tattoos in there. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • It seems strange that someone in the 19th century would choose a Roman figure, which makes this one interesting. It's not preserved in it's entirety either - was this one collected in haste? Was it collected opportunistically or was the body perhaps just too damaged to salvage more? Maybe this was as much as they were able to preserve. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • This is a tradesman's tattoo, clearly a blacksmith or metal worker. The discolouration of the skin shows different layers of epidermis - in the paler areas, the surface layer has shucked off, possibly as a result of decay, advancing before it was preserved. The condition of the skin can tell you something about the conditions of preservation. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • This is a military tattoo, commemorating a tour of duty. Souvenir tattoos such as this are quite common. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • This one I just think is really nice. It's part of a chest tattoo - you can see the nipple in the bottom left corner. This person was clearly a collector of tattoos themselves. Portraits and butterflies. I would love to have seen the rest of the body, I wonder if he was this extensively tattooed over the rest of his skin? PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • I've included this one because I think she looks really sad. To me, with the veil, it looks like she's in mourning. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • This is a good example of the really detailed texture of some of these objects - the edges have been trimmed on this one to remove the frills and puncture holes made by pins during drying. But it obviously wasn't dried adequately, as we can see from this amazing wrinkling along the edge. The skins are not flat two dimensional images at all. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • This one's very hairy and very thin - you can see my fingers through it. Again, this is a regimental tattoo. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • The convex bubble is a nipple. I took this photograph partly to show how it protrudes from the surface, but also to show how thin the skin is. The red colouration here is capillaries in the surface of the skin. The tattoos are really just one interesting feature of these objects. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • The convex bubble is a nipple. I took this photograph partly to show how it protrudes from the surface, but also to show how thin the skin is. The red colouration here is capillaries in the surface of the skin. The tattoos are really just one interesting feature of these objects. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • The tattoo here is quite obscure, but its the texture of this one that's really interesting to me - it reminds you that skin is a three dimensional surface, it's textured. I don't know if you can make it out, but this tattoo is a little bit obscene! I couldn't figure this design out for ages, it's a bit of an odd one. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • This is a damaged skin, and this tear would have occurred before it was preserved. You can see the pinholes along the edges of the tear where it has been stretched out to dry. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • This one is really thick, it's very stiff, there's no pliability at all. The texture of the skin is very different from the others - it's incredibly smooth, and there are almost no visible pores. I imagine that this person would have had great skin for tattooing! PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • I love how bold this red is. I'd love to be able to do chemical tests on this, but my suspicion is that this particular red is cinnabar, which has a very high mercury content. It's highly toxic, but this kind of red pigment really stays in the skin. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • This is a memorial tattoo. There's a grim reaper holding an hourglass. The words 'Pense A Moi' - think of me - are tattooed at the top right above a weeping willow, as well as an image of a pansy, the French flower of remembrance. PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • PHOTO: Gemma Angel

  • PHOTO: Gemma Angel