TX Study Finds Incomplete Criminal Records In 36% Of Cases


Authorities tell the Associated Press that Texas counties are partly to blame for not always reporting the outcomes of criminal cases. Fort Worth-based Imperative Information Group, which does background investigations, looked at 562 cases for offenses that ranged from theft by check to capital murder. All were known to have ended with a conviction or “deferred adjudication,” similar to probation. It found that the state Department of Public Safety database did not have records on 36 percent of the 562 cases, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. In three instances, the cases were not reported to the database even though the defendants were sentenced to death.

State licensing agencies, employers, churches and others rely on the database to screen prospective employees, customers, and volunteers. The missing records stem from human error and lax reporting from law enforcement agencies, courts, and district attorneys, the newspaper reported. Some counties report as little as 17 percent of convictions to the state. Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley blamed gaps in the database for allowing an eventual murderer to slip under authorities’ radar. Gregory Klapesky – who was supposed to be on felony probationary sentences in two counties, but was not being monitored by officials – strangled his wife in 2003.

Link: http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/11/28/1128database.html

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