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Special master urged for Houston crime lab review

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Posted: August 21, 2007   2:27 PM

In testimony yesterday before two Texas House of Representatives committees, the independent investigator who recently completed an extensive audit of Houston’s crime lab called for the appointment of an independent official to review cases for possible retesting.

Michael Bromwich, a former U.S. Justice Department Inspector General, found extensive problems with training and testing at the Houston lab during the two-year review he led. Bromwich yesterday repeated his call for a special master to evaluate more than 600 cases in which inconsistencies were identified by the audit. But Houston’s mayor, police chief and district attorney, have all rejected Bromwich’s request.

(Police Chief Harold ) Hurtt and (Harris County District Attorney Chuck) Rosenthal again rejected the idea of appointing a special master.

Rosenthal said his office has already contacted the judges in almost 200 cases where problems with evidence analysis may have affected the outcome.

He said those judges will appoint attorneys for defendants who want one, and they will go through the evidence.

Read the full story here. (Houston Chronicle, 08/21/2007)

Read more about the history of the Houston crime lab scandal in previous blog posts.

Read about the exoneration of George Rodriguez, which helped uncover the problems in the Houston crime lab.

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