Test results of evidence used in many Houston-area criminal cases, including capital murder convictions, are being reviewed after the work of a DNA lab technician has come into question, according to Harris County prosecutors. The Associated Press says the cases are being reviewed after an internal police investigation alleged a technician in the Houston police crime lab lied, followed improper procedure or tampered with official records.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office sent letters to attorneys in 185 criminal cases, including 53 murders or capital murders, to advise that the technician has resigned. A Harris County grand jury declined to indict the former technician. A list of the cases being reviewed obtained by AP showed that of the 53 murder or capital murder cases, seven resulted in murder convictions but no defendant received a death sentence. Of the 185 cases under review, 120 are pending in the court system. The Houston Chronicle first obtained the letters that were sent to defense attorneys through an open records request.