I’ve commented many times about the inherent problem with crime labs being a part of, or directly supervised by police or prosecutors.
Below is an article that gives evidence as to why.
But it’s been a long-standing problem in Texas and elsewhere that medical examiners and crime labs tend to see police and prosecutors as their clients. It’s understandable since the forensic technicians tend to see their jobs as being to help solve crimes, putting them, in effect, on the law-enforcement team. This is especially true of crime labs that are part of police agencies, such as the DPS crime lab, and the Houston Police Crime Lab.
But, in fact, their job isn’t to solve crimes. It’s to produce the best scientific evidence — whether that evidence helps the prosecution or the defense. There are moves toward making crime labs independent, especially in Houston, home of the state’s most notorious crime lab scandals, where Mayor Annise Parker this week laid out a plan to remove the crime lab from the police department.
Such moves and more are needed. Texas justice will be served only when forensic professionals work in a culture that sees science as their clients, not police and prosecutors.
Read more on My San Antonio.
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