Houston Crime Lab a Mess

Here’s a story from the Houston Chronicle about the latest “victim” of the Houston crime lab (which couldn’t analyze a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and tell you it had bread in it, let alone analyze DNA samples). And what are these DNA samples being analyzed for? Well, usually someone is facing a life sentence — or possibly a death sentence — based on the findings of the crime lab. So a little seriousness and competency should be the order of the day, right?

Well, it isn’t. And the poor guy the subject of the story has already spent 17 years behind bars for a crime that evidence now suggests he did not commit. And if that isn’t enough injustice for you, consider the fact that the person now believed to have committed the crime (the abduction and rape of a teenaged girl) can no longer be prosecuted for it, since the statute of limitations has run. And this despite the fact that his semen was (according to an assembled panel of forensic experts) wrongly excluded from testing. Good grief. Clearly, this now-free man isn’t the only victim here.

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