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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Houston Crime Lab Makes News Again; Impact on legal cases?

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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The Houston Crime Lab tends to make the news from time to time and almost never for anything good. In the latest debacle, an lab technician has been arrested for stealing cocaine processed in the lab over the last several years.

Houston Chronicle: Impact of cocaine thefts from DPS lab disputed

This is actually relatively benign after what we’ve seen from the crime lab in years past. HPD Lab Investigation site has a more detailed history but here are some of the highlights -

I tend to think that this particular infraction has relatively minor direct impact on any cases. It supposedly happened only after the cocaine had already been processed. However Troy McKinney hits it right on the head as quoted in the article – it goes to the fundamental trust in the system. How much can we trust the evidence the evidence that comes out of the lab when we see infraction after infraction?

Troy McKinney, a past president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, says the current incident raises questions about the quality of the evidence coming out of the agency’s crime lab.

“It suggests that there is very little integrity in the evidence coming out of that lab,” McKinney said. “Whether it’s because he handled it, or that he was able to get away with it for so long without anybody knowing.”

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Category: criminal law, houston and harris county, texas, Texas, Texans & the Law


2 Responses

  1. Huston S. says:

    Troy McKinney brings up a very relevant point. If Houston wants to improve its crime lab reputation, great changes will need to be made.

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