innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Thursday, January 06, 2005

"A spaghetti bowl"


Barry Scheck, flanked by freed prisoners

The barrage of criticism against crime labs continues. Texas lawmakers blasted the Houston crime lab this week for its sloppy procedures and shoddy conditions, according to the New York Times. One Senator said he'd "been in washaterias cleaner than the crime lab," calling it "a spaghetti bowl." In addition, Houston police say they still haven't worked through hundreds of boxes of misplaced evidence discovered last August from cases dating back to the 1970s.

The Innocence Project's Barry Scheck joined the chorus of criticism over the lab's contribution to wrongful convictions. Two of Scheck's clients were freed after 17 years in prison when the lab's DNA tests proved to be faulty. A third client released from death row on a false arson conviction is afraid to ever come into Texas again, according to Scheck.

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