This Week: February 04, 2016

This week on Reasonable Doubt we talk DNA.  The state known for putting more people on death row than the other 49 combined now stands at the front of the line in reviewing mixed sample DNA cases based on a new testing protocol.  That’s right, our great state of Texas is only state that, according to Innocence Project director Barry Scheck, is “systematically trying to correct” cases that may have been adversely affected by the outdated protocol.   The new protocol, which was implemented in 2010, requires that more thresholds be met in before data could be deemed conclusive when calculating the probability that a person’s DNA profile could appear in nature.

While we may not see a wave of convictions being reversed because of the new protocol, it does illustrate that the legal system in Texas recognizes that changes in forensic science testing methods and standards require us to go back and ensure that old cases were not compromised.  For all the ridicule that the criminal justice system in Texas receives, it is refreshing to see that our state is the leading the way in this area.

We will also take a look this week at the sudden and unexpected resignation of Chief Charles McClelland from the Houston Police Department.  What’s next for HPD and what message can Houston’s new mayor send with the first major appointment of his term in office.  Join us this week with our guests Damon Parrish and Ike Okorafor.

About Jimmy Ardoin

Jimmy Ardoin is criminal and civil lawyer practicing predominately in federal courts both in Texas and across the country. You can find out more about Jimmy at his website, and you can follow him on Twitter @jimmyardoin.