Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Packed agenda at TX forensic commission Friday

What a packed agenda at the Texas Forensic Science Commission on Friday in Austin! Take a look, there's a lot happening. Here's a non-comprehensive taste of the issues they'll cover:
  • Two new lab disclosures and five new complaints
  • Discuss crime-lab accreditation program (shifted from DPS to FSC this session)
  • Discuss status of forensic licensure requirement (must be implemented by 2019)
  • Updates from two investigative panels on toolmark cases
  • Update from investigative panel on digital forensics
  • Update from bite-mark panel
  • Update from hair microscopy panel
  • Update from DNA mixture panel
  • Update on arson case review and implementation of recommendations
  • Update on status of Morton/Brady training for forensic scientists
And more ... It's going to be a long day.

Meanwhile, on Thursday (tomorrow), an FSC committee on DNA mixtures will reprise the agenda for which they could not obtain a quorum in Dallas two weeks ago.

FSC General Counsel Lynn Garcia may be the busiest mother of a two-year old I know.

Grits has complained for years that a lot of important stuff happens at the FSC and almost nobody in the media covers it. At the last FSC meeting there were two reporters there (Michael Hall from Texas Monthly and Brandi Grissom from the Dallas News), which is a lot for these events. And a third, the Texas Tribune's Terri Langford, showed up at the DNA-mixture meeting in Dallas. So given the extensive agenda and the unusual level of recent press interest in forensics, Grits will put the over-under on how many reporters will be there Friday at 2.5. Which is good, usually it's zero. There's a lot going on at this small agency for their activities to be as routinely ignored as they have been these last few years.


Anonymous said...

What ?!?

Complaint No. 1114.15.12; Sailus, Jeff (Procedural Complaint Against FSC)

Is it possible that the FSC has failed to follow TCCP 38.01 and its own ad hoc procedures to their benefit?

Yep. Been doing so for a long, long time. Who better to watch the hen house?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

If they'd not put it on the agenda, 9:05, you'd have complained about that. They received a complaint, it's scheduled for consideration. What else should they do with it? What would satisfy you?

Anonymous said...

9:05 here-

They've received procedural complaints in the past. They just ignored them.

DFisher has pointed out other violations, too.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I honestly can't tell what you want from them. I think you'd criticize no matter what they do. From my vantage point, they're doing a decent job of a really tough task that's way too big for the resources they have. I've read the complaints in the comments, but they seem overblown to me. And I watch the agency about as closely as anybody.

Anonymous said...

If I recollect, Grits, a couple of years back you posted a picture of expired chemicals being used in a Texas crime lab. Do you recall if this issue was resolved publicly by the FSC? Can a crime lab disregard its own protocols for using expired chemicals? Were the error rates for the expired chemicals empirically determined to be comparable to unexpired chemicals? (By analogy, can the State use expired chemicals to execute those on Death Row?)

My complaint was ignored by the FSC, and then it disappeared without a valid explanation.

Now you see it...

Now you don't...

The FSC (specifically Lynn Garcia) was told of the lies of John Bradley and failed to publicly address them or correct the lies. This is by definition a breach of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct -- Rule 4.1, Rule 8.3.


Anonymous said...

9:05 here again --

"If they'd not put it on the agenda, 9:05, you'd have complained about that."

I wouldn't have complained, because I wouldn't have known. That's how that works with FSC, DPS and accreditation audits. If no problems are reported to the public, no problems must exist.

[SCP beats me to the punch!]

And those Captcha images are atrocious!