The Champion

August 2007 , Page 61 

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State Legislative Affairs Update

By Scott Ehlers

Crime Labs

Texas: 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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