Wednesday, October 31, 2018

On-going: Crime lab improprieties; Houston Forensic Science Center: Fired crime scene investigator Tammy Barette: Texas; The Houston Chronicle reports (reporter Samantha Ketterer) that she was fired "after leaders determined that she violated policy by using personal equipment, resulting in several false negatives on biological evidence and affecting two sex assault cases."..."As a crime scene investigator, Barette was required to use a device called an Alternative Light Source, which identifies the presence of biological fluids such as blood, saliva and semen. The tool doesn't prove the presence of DNA or involve the actual testing of the material, Stout said. But Barette was using her own instrument, which didn't meet the forensic science center's requirements, officials said Friday. Adequate light sources need to operate at a range of wavelengths, and the investigator's only operated on one. Tyler Flood, criminal defense attorney and former president of Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, commended the crime lab for being transparent and called the investigator's alleged actions a "complete disregard for the integrity of forensic evidence."