in Fort Bend County, no letters were sent, no panel appointed. In terms of the cases already tried, District Attorney John Healey told me last week that lawyers in a few were notified verbally, but that he had planned to wait until retesting from DPS before sending a broad alert to those convicted and their lawyers.Wrote Falkenberg, "If you need another example of the varying ways in which prosecutors in this state interpret their duty to do justice, here it is." She quoted the Fort Bend DA justifying his stance:
As a result, many sitting on probation or in prison based upon what could well be falsified evidence are unaware of that fact.
Healey found the recent appeals court ruling "illuminating and instructive" but disagrees with the court that the relative few errors identified in Salvador's cases have "the potential to taint his other work."Damn nice of him, isn't it, to comply with his Brady obligation even if he disagrees with the Court of Criminal Appeals? What hubris! Don Bankston, the former First Assistant DA in Fort Bend County, speculated that Healey was "trying to save their cases" by delaying notification.
That said, Healey says he now feels compelled to send notices to those who may be affected
The next Court of Criminal Appeals "hand down list" will come out tomorrow. Based on their prior rulings, expect more of Salvador's cases to be on the roster of approved habeas corpus writs.
See prior, related Grits posts:
- The Weakest Link: TDCAA agrees nearly 5,000 cases 'may be jeopardized' by DPS lab worker misconduct
- Thousands of drug cases may be overturned because DPS lab worker allegedly faked results
- DPS crime lab SNAFU may overturn thousands of years worth of drug sentences
- Convictions overturned based on DPS lab worker misconduct, hundreds more likely to be challenged
- Bad apple at DPS crime lab could spoil barrel of convictions
- DPS analyst who faked results worked on 4,944 drug cases
- Drug analyst at DPS crime lab issued erroneous reports