TX,Harris C.: Hundreds of cases to be reviewed because of
Tue May 1, 2012 15:59
Hundreds of cases to be reviewed because of errors by crime lab worker By Brian Rogers and Anita Hassan Published 01:47 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos has asked that evidence in hundreds of drug cases be retested because of questions that have arisen about the analyst who did the original testing.
The Texas Department of Public Safety recently notified area district attorneys that the agency discovered errors with the analysis conducted by one of its forensic scientists in the Houston Regional Laboratory.
That analyst has been suspended from casework pending an internal investigation, according to a DPS letter sent to law enforcement officials.
Because of its initial suspicion, the agency retested evidence in 100 of the analyst's most recent cases and found problems in two other cases, according to DPS.
"An internal investigation regarding this matter is continuing, and DPS is taking additional steps to prevent any such occurrence in the future," according to a statement released Tuesday.
The analyst, who has not been named, has worked for the DPS lab since 2006 and has tested evidence in 6,000 cases across the region. It is unclear how many of those are in Harris County.
"We have a list of all cases that have been disposed of and that are current, and we're asking that every single one of those be retested," Lykos said Tuesday. "We are in the process of notifying the defense attorneys, and we've asked that the (Harris County Public Defender's office) be appointed by the Court of Criminal Appeals as a conduit so we can give all the information to a single source and they can contact the defendants."
Lykos said the DPS has not been determined if the errors were intentional or negligent.
"That's part of the ongoing investigation," Lykos said.
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