Travis County receives more than $500K to help screen for potential cases of Austin Police DNA theft

Austin police shut down DNA lab due to omission

FILE: Austin police shut down DNA lab

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Travis County has received more than $500,000 in grants to help the district attorney’s office, and its partners, investigate cases potentially impacted by office misconduct. Austin Police DNA experiment before it was shut down.

NS contract with the Department of Justice will allow staff to expand testing capacity for the DNA review process and will provide two additional staff members in the District Attorney’s office to do so.

Those officers will primarily study cases to see if DNA-based convictions are lawful. This grant is for three years.

In 2016, an audit discovered that APD lab technicians used flawed science when calculating the odds ratio of DNA results, which could be the error of thousands of cases. The technologies also used materials that expired during testing and had at least one case of evidence of contamination.

Over the past few years, attorneys, investigators, assistants and secretaries have struggled through hundreds of closed juvenile and adult criminal cases.

They are looking for mistakes that the Austin Police Department and the Department of Public Safety may have made in the evidence collection process to make sure everyone is receiving due process. Some cases date back to 2000.

Since the lab closed, APD has outsourced DNA testing and several other forensic needs to the Texas Department of Public Safety and private labs.

“Given what happened to the DNA lab, I think there is a need to rebuild trust in the community,” Commissioner Jeff Travillion said Tuesday. This is a step in the right direction to rebuild that trust, he noted.

Source link Travis County receives more than $500K to help screen for potential cases of Austin Police DNA theft


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