Sunday, July 10, 2005

HPD crime lab shows "indifference to right and wrong"

Who doesn't enjoy indulging occasionally in a good I told you so? In testimony on behalf of ACLU of Texas in January, I told the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee:
crime lab lapses are a microcosm within a system geared toward maximizing the ease with which convictions can be obtained. Innocent people aren’t convicted because one lab technician makes an error. Innocents are convicted when the actors in the system don’t care that innocents are convicted.
So you might imagine I'm gratified, if hardly surprised, to see yesterday's Houston Chronicle editorial entitled, "Crime lab investigation reveals indifference to right and wrong throughout the criminal justice system." Hell. Yeah. Give it a read. Then check out the op ed in today's Chronicle by Innocence Project attorneys Barry Scheck and David Dow clarifying that "Falsification of evidence can only be called corruption." Damn. Straight.

You know, if the MSM regularly represented such honest assessments in its reporting on the criminal justice system, there would be no need for this blog! The Chronicle promises this is the "first of several" editorials detailing flaws in the criminal justice system, so let's hope they try to put me out of business.

I've not followed the crime lab imbroglios as close as some, though it's been clear for a while they're in full-blown crisis. In too many cases, accuracy appears to be optional. The Lege sure failed to fix the problem this spring.

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