Thursday, May 23, 2013
Nuther overturned case based on Jonathan Salvador crime lab fiasco
After a brief hiatus in which several weekly "hand-down lists" came and went without the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruling on any more of former DPS crime-lab worker Jonathan Salvador's cases, another one came down yesterday. In "Ex Parte James Antonio Williams," a six year sentence was overturned because evidence in the defendant's case passed through Salvador's seemingly tainted custody. Admittedly Grits has been distracted so I may have missed some, but by my count that brings the total to 18 convictions overturned totaling 141.5 years worth of prison sentences so far as a result of the scandal, with potentially thousands more to come. I'd begun to wonder whether Texas' high criminal court may reconsider its sweeping rejection of all things Salvador after the breathtaking implications of its rulings became apparent. After all, the Houston-based chemist worked on nearly 5,000 cases. But Mr. Williams received relief based on the same standard as prior cases. It all looks like a mess from here but ironically we've got Yankees marveling that Texas has handled it as well as it has. Go figure.