This story from the Texas Monthly continues to be a testament to how opening the minds of diverse forensic and legal professionals can lead to progress in reaching scientific goals and standards in the courts. Here is a excerpt about happenings when the Texas Forensic Science Commission started getting past its rancorous 2005 beginnings.
“Defense lawyers saw that lab analysts weren’t purposefully sending innocent people to prison; they were skilled but overworked scientists. Prosecutors saw that defense lawyers weren’t crazed conspiracy nuts; they were spirited advocates for their clients. The next roundtable was co-hosted with the Court of Criminal Appeals’ Criminal Justice Integrity Unit, a similarly collaborative commission put together by Judge Barbara Hervey, in 2008. The groups made two strong recommendations: first, develop a plan for certifying, or licensing, all state forensic examiners by an independent body. Second, come up with a process for notifying everyone affected by forensic errors—prosecutors, defense attorneys, defendants, and the courts themselves. They also began co-hosting seminars on forensic science, where they talked about everything from arson developments to new designer drugs.”