Houston Police Lab Review Finds Lax Supervision, Possible Misconduct
By PAM EASTON
HOUSTON- An independent review of the troubled Houston police crime lab has uncovered a six-year gap in supervision in the DNA section and allegations of scientific fabrication by analysts.
The lab's DNA section was closed in late 2002 after an outside audit revealed serious deficiencies, including a lack of training for workers and possible evidence contamination.
The police department is using outside contractors for DNA testing but hopes to resume DNA testing by the end of the year.
Earlier this month, the department gained accreditation of its controlled substances, toxicology, questioned documents, firearms and serology sections.
Since early 2003, the police department and the Harris County District Attorney's office have worked with outside labs to review 407 criminal cases involving DNA testing performed by the police lab. One man has been released from jail and pardoned based on retesting in his rape case.
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