Texas, which loves to be No. 1 in everything, seems to be making a concerted effort to outdo other states in the number of wrongful convictions. Now it seems determined to be top dog in crime-lab scandals as well.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has just warned district attorneys about errors in drug evidence analysis at its Houston regional lab. Officials said evidence that wasn’t properly tested could have resulted in faulty convictions since 2006 in Houston’s Harris County and several other counties that the lab serves.
In an email to prosecutors in the affected counties, the Department of Public Safety said the errors appeared to all be linked to one forensic scientist who has been suspended.
The Houston Police Department Crime Lab had to be shut down several years ago after lax testing, some of which contributed to wrongful convictions, was discovered there. Problems also have surfaced in a San Antonio crime lab.
But Texas still has lots of competition for lab scandals, as writer Matt Clarke documents here.