'Drylabbing' in Houston


The Houston Chronicle reports that problems at the city's crime lab extend to its busiest division, the one dealing with illegal drugs. One analyst faked a 1998 test that supposedly identified a tablet as a "date rape" drug. A supervisor discovered the fraud, leading to a reduction in charges against the defendant. "Two years later," the Chronicle reports, "the same analyst printed out a co-worker's test results from another case and put them in his own case file…The analyst resigned after a supervisor discovered the misconduct and the police chief considered termination." Note that the guy was still working at the lab even after he deliberately falsified an incriminating test result, which you might think would be cause for dismissal, if not prosecution.

Wait, it gets worse. Another analyst

was accused of falsifying results in two 1999 cases. In one, the analyst identified tablets as a controlled substance without performing tests and falsified data to support the incorrect conclusion, according to the report.

The analyst received a written reprimand in that instance.

In the second case, the analyst tested only one of two tablets from an evidence sample and used the data from the first tablet for the second. The analyst was suspended for three days.

He (or she) is still working at the lab.

[Thanks to Derek Ashworth for the link.]