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Forum Post: Forensic panel to review final report on DPS crime lab debacle

Posted 5 years ago on April 5, 2013, 3:31 p.m. EST by GirlFriday (17435)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

N.b., by my count, the number of convictions overturned so far based on this debacle is actually 17. The AP story adds that, "The Texas Rangers have also investigated Salvador. It's unclear if that investigation is still open or if he will be charged." But in fact the investigation is complete and last year a Harris County grand jury no-billed Mr. Salvador in the drylabbing episode. Losing his job was the only consequence he'll apparently face, no matter how deep the rabbit hole goes.

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[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

This is why we need the death penalty -
then Texas would have less to worry about.
we could just legalize drugs

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Decriminalization, fine. Legalization.......nah.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

I think virtually all drugs should be available by prescription for adults.
Imagine what would happen to America's crime rate & all of the drug crime in US & Mexico. I'd rather have an addict with a $1000 a year habit
rather than a $1000/week habit

If you only decriminalize possession, the dealers will still be killing people to supply it and the buyes will still have to be criminals to support their habit

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

The Innocent Project of Texas has been doing great work having exonerated its 49th person recently

They are based out of Princeton NJ, and Barry Scheck (of OJ fame) is the Co-Director

I have been trying to covince my PD daughter in AK that it would be a great place to apply to

So far, no luck :-(


[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Well, you have to let her take her own path. She is more than likely going to take the path where she feels that she can make the greatest change. So, what do you think of the original post?

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

Yes I know that I have to let her take her own path GF. It's just i miss not being closer to my granddaughter, OK? ;-)

And now back to your "original post," Between shoddy lab work and prosecutorial misconduct, defendants can be really screwed

It's unclear to me if Salvador was just inept or tainted the evidence on purpose tho. Did i miss it?

Either way though if there is anyone who went to jail based on evidence that came out of the lab he worked at, they should be released

Wasn't their a simular systemic problem in the FBI lab 10-20 years ago that a whistle-blower uncovered?

The Innocent project also worked to exonerate a a man in Texas who was wrongfully convicted and spent 25 years in jail because of prosecutorial misconduct.

That is a real problem in this country that seldom comes to the light of day, as it is rare that prosecutors have to answer for any wrong-doing,

But in this case that prosecutor who is now a judge is being charged with purposely with-holding evidence that would have helped the defendant prove his innocence

The simple fact is that too many prosecutors in this country were/are more concerned with their conviction rates than anything else because that would propel them into a political career by a public who had swallowed up the fear they promoted in building the prison industrial complex



[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Salvadore replaced the results from one test to another. The investigation found one in three tests to contain errors. There are over 5,000 drug tests that may have been compromised. Grits count is 17 overturned.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

I just came back from a Beyond The Bars community collaborative event at Columbia University

There were three 1 1/2 hour workshops that i attended, one on Visions for Moving forward (in the criminal justice system); then Another World In Our Hearts, Community Alternatives to Incarceration; and the last Dismantling the Intersection of Immigration and the Criminal Legal Systems: Builing an Immigrant Movement For Justice

It was really cool as there were people from the criminal justice system there, community group leaders, uni professors, and other people who had been incarcerated, either as moderators or on the panels

In Bernadette Dohrn's case, that girl is lucky that she still isn't in the clink. I mean holy shit, what a wild ride her life has been


[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

OK thanks, i missed that. But what about prosecutorial misconduct, and them seldom having to answer for it

Many prosecutors as you probably know feel righteous in pursuing charges with flimsy evidence on people that may have less than a stellar past and/or are minorities

And very unfortunately many of these people awaiting trial in jail agree to plea deals because they see the deck is stacked aagainst them


[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

Yes like "that" and "this," but the reason that they withhold eveidence in a lot of cases is because they are not interested in the pursuit of justice

They just want another notch on their belt to keep their conviction rate high, and often that is because they are dreaming of having political careers


[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Yep. Well, it's already a political career. I would say that anytime they withhold justice they are not in pursuit of justice.