Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Some crime labs may close instead of reform

Nine of Texas' 36 crime labs may shut down rather than undergo a professional accreditation process mandated by the 79th Legislature, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports.

A slew of innocents convicted based on false analyses from Houston, Fort Worth, and DPS crime labs led the Legislature to require the accreditation, which many including this author considered a minimalist solution compared to other proposals that didn't make it out of the process. It's surprising so many facilities feel they can't operate under the higher standards.

Then again, maybe that's why Texas has had so many problems at crime labs in the first place.

1 comment:

jdallen said...

I just got off a Federal Grand Jury. I'm not sure if it's okay to even say that or not, but I'm feeling compelled. I had one opportunity to quiz a couple of AUSA's and a couple of witnesses (agents) on DNA evidence. It turned out that I and two other jurors had scientific/technical backgrounds. We agreed that the procedures the analysts used to check their results and instruments were not adequate for our respective jobs. In other words, if I were the defendant, and my lawyer could make the judge or jury understand, their results would have been thrown out.