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Grits has already expressed amazement that a scandal involving a fired DPS crime lab worker who allegedly fabricated test results - and who performed controlled substances testing in nearly 5,000 drug cases - has received so little press attention, suggesting that the episode may result in the courts overturning hundreds of cases with sentences collectively totaling more than 10,000 years. As it turns out, I may have underestimated the scope of this fiasco.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals recently began overturning old convictions based on this episode, starting with instances where evidence was destroyed post-conviction, making retesting impossible. The general counsel at the Texas Forensic Science Commission has estimated that evidence was destroyed in 25-50% of cases where Jonathan Salvador performed testing. In several cases, however, including, e.g., one styled Ex Parte Patrick Lynn Hobbs, the high court ruled that, "While there is evidence remaining that is available to retest in this case, that evidence was in the custody of the lab technician in question. This Court believes his actions are not reliable; therefore custody was compromised, resulting in a due process violation. Applicant is therefore entitled to relief." In other words, it may not matter whether evidence is available for retesting or not.
If the court continues to apply that standard then virtually every case in which Mr. Salvador performed testing - some 4,944 cases in all from 36 counties - will be overturned because the evidence was tainted just by being in his custody! Truly, this is a mind boggling development, rivaling a similar episode in Massachusetts which has received much more publicity. The average sentence of defendants among the first 12 writs approved was eight years. If that average holds, nearly 40,000 years worth of drug sentences may eventually be overturned. Can you even imagine? How is it that Grits is the only media outlet covering this?
I'd earlier suggested that enough inmates could be released from Texas prisons as a result of this unmitigated mess to allow the state to close an additional prison unit. But if the Court of Criminal Appeals handles all of Salvador's cases like they did Mr. Hobbs', the state might be able to close three or four of them. Stay tuned. This astonishing debacle has only just begun to play out.
-------------------- When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
everyone including people who don't do drugs, and people who disprove of them, should be disgusted by what this lab worker did. He has probaby fucked many lives over and put their family and friends in a mess they did not deserve, and gauranteed them a contract for many years of violence and rape in a zoo we call correctional facilities (prison)
but yeah, rabble rabble, full of rage, don't make any specific threats because the feds will send their rat drones up my shit infested asshole. fuck off clowns
The best way to make sure people never get falsely imprisoned for drugs is to make all drugs legal. To bad that will never happen.
Some drugs can have bad side affects, but it's time for our government to stop treating grown adults like children just so they can make free money. Adults can make their own decisions. Maybe the government should just do better(truthful) educating on the effects of drugs and let people make their own decisions.
Quote: ShadeOfDeepPurple said: The best way to make sure people never get falsely imprisoned for drugs is to make all drugs legal. To bad that will never happen.
I do not know how long it will take, but it's simply too expensive and impractical to uphold these laws. They create crime, cost a lot of money and do not work. It is inevitable that at some point some people in power realize this and end this nonsense. It's only a question of time, as the signs already point towards this and any other drug prohibition in history had been repealed. Would be ironic if that weren't true for the greatest of them all, wouldn't it?