A group of nine experts have been chosen by the Houston Forensic Science Local Government Corporation (HFSLGC) to help the city’s crime lab move on from recent controversy of tainted and mishandled evidence, reported KBTX- CBS College Station. Among the experts appointed to the Technical Advisory Group is Texas A&M professor Dr. Clifford Spiegelman, who is eager to change the way things are done, and noted the following with regard to ballistics evidence:
“Right now, the standard testimony is when there’s a match, they testify that, to a practical certainty, this is the only weapon that could have fired the bullet,” said Spiegelman. “The experiments don’t support that. And what we’re going to be looking at is error rates.”
The Technical Advisory Group will help the HFSLGC board, which manages the lab, establish and maintain high standards of technical performance and accreditation while keeping it informed of new forensic developments.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who created the HFSLGC with the City Council, called the formation of the independent panel an important milestone, and Innocence Project Forensic Policy Advocate Sarah Chu said this is a big step in the right direction.
“This will do so much to not only exonerate the innocent and identify true perpetrators,” said Chu. “But by doing so with a strong scientific foundation, you’ll enhance public safety in Houston.”
Spiegelman is joined by a retired director of the DEA and the CEO of the National Forensic Science Technology Center and a Professor of Bioengineering.