Criminal Defense Attorneys give their perspective on Houston Forensic Science Center issue

Houston — A former analyst from the Houston Center for Forensic Sciences is in the hot seat, accused of improperly handling evidence in nearly 400 cases.

Murder of Migos rapper Take Off at Houston bowling alley among nearly 400 cases reported due to forensic failure

KPRC2’s Rachel Turner I spoke to defense attorneys Rick DiToto and Anthony Owusu Jr. Both attorneys are former prosecutors and had similar responses to the case involving the Houston Forensic Science Center.

“It’s a domino effect, a little whirlwind that affects 400 and hundreds of cases at a time. It will cause the agenda to pile up. You have to consider that after this issue has been identified, prosecutors will either have to retest the evidence or reanalyze the evidence. “As a result, there will be motions for continuation by the prosecution and defense lawyers as well, and they will reset the cases,” Attorney Owusu said.

One case concerns the murder of rapper Migos Takeoff and his accused killer, Patrick Clark. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office notified Clark’s attorneys that the forensic analyst’s employment was terminated last month due to his “lack of quality of work.”

Attorney Rick DiToto is not connected to the case.

In this situation where she’s being accused of doing that, would that help someone who’s been accused of murder or something really bad?

“This can help a defendant charged with a serious case, whether it’s DNA or blood or any type of chemical testing. The bigger issue is you need to know what this person’s role is in the case. And did they actually, you know, withdraw evidence?” Did you know that they put it in the tubes and put it in the testing machine? These are the things that the prosecutors have to find out, all they have to do is simply say, ‘Hey, this happened, we’re giving you notice, but that’s just the beginning.’ The hard work is when we start looking at the details and we start pulling out all the evidence and finding out what testing procedures the person did. “So, that can help very well,” attorney DiToto said.

What does this mean for some families seeking justice?

“Yes, it’s a nightmare for defense attorneys, and it’s also a nightmare for the families involved in these cases seeking justice. It’s going to cause delays,” DiToto said.

Can this help someone accused of a bad crime if we don’t necessarily know all the evidence that has been processed correctly?

“Sure, Rachel, that’s an interesting question. I don’t know if it’s going to hurt or help. I think as a defendant and a defense attorney, I want to make sure that any evidence that comes against any of my clients follows protocol and procedure, and that there’s integrity behind it,” Owusu said. “.

What is Brady Notice?

“So, the allegations seem to suggest that she may have switched samples. And with a lot of the work that we do, a criminal defense attorney, in dealing with DNA and samples related to chemical testing, is the worst thing that could happen. So,” DiToto said. “In this case, prosecutors have an absolute duty to notify defense counsel of the existence of evidence in this case that may tend to show that the person is not guilty or charged.”

How do you think the judges will handle this case?

“Well, I don’t think there will be a blanket process. I think each judge will handle it independently and in their own way, but I think they realize that there is already a backlog of cases. So they will allow the prosecutors to address the problem, but I think there will be “A lot of pressure from the judges on them to get it done and get it done quickly.”

This issue will add to a backlog of cases that is already a significant problem. Families who have been waiting for justice for their loved ones may have to wait even longer.

We don’t know if these are cases of murder, assault or rape, but as a reporter, my passion is to keep you informed and find solutions to your problems.

If you or someone you know is affected by this issue, please contact me so I can share your story. My e-mail address is rturner@kprc.com.

Copyright 2024 KPRC Click2Houston – All Rights Reserved.

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