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State Legislative Affairs Update
By Scott Ehlers
Crime LabsTexas: Final Report Issued on Houston Crime Lab Scandal
On June 13, the $5.3 million independent investigation of the
Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory and Property Room concluded
with a 332-page final report. Findings and recommendations were issued
based on material in the first five reports as well as a considerable
amount of new material.
The independent investigator and former inspector general for the U.S.
Department of Justice, Michael Bromwich, reviewed over 3,500 cases the
crime lab processed from 1980-2004. Bromwich acknowledged the crime
lab’s high quality work in the firearms, toxicology, and questioned
documents sections. The problems and potential inaccuracy in the
disciplines of serology and DNA analysis, however, were described as
“significant and pervasive.”
The prosecution and the police agreed to review some 600 cases that
Bromwich documented as possibly relying on faulty serology alone
(“‘Troubling’ Cases Surface in Rep
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