After the Austin Police Department in Texas forcibly terminated operations of its DNA testing lab in late July, they are not sure whether there would be criminal convictions that would be thrown out due to improper testing.
Austin-based criminal defense attorney Chris Perri said this development does not bode well for the state justice system as, “It’s worrisome and devastating for cases where the primary evidence was DNA testing. So there might be probably some wrongful convictions out there, but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. They have a lot of work to go through, review every record and see which cases were the ones where DNA was the primary evidence.”
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2015 told crime laboratories across the country that they were using outdated methods to analyze DNA samples of genetic materials from multiple people.
Former Austin Police Department crime laboratory senior forensic scientist Debra Stephens, who was terminated from her post in 2012 after she filed a complaint with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office that claimed crime lab employees were not qualified for their jobs and that they didn’t follow protocol, said officials have ignored the issues with the lab for years now.
Our criminal defense lawyers at Ian Inglis Attorney at Law in Austin are here to protect your reputation if you had been charged with a criminal offense, because we understand the importance of the presumption of innocence until evidence finds one guilty, and also because we understand that a wrongful conviction can have some negative and seriously damaging effects to one’s life. Call our offices today at (512) 472-1950.