HPD Response to Fifth Report By Independent Investigator
May 11, 2006 -- Houston Police
Chief Harold Hurtt and managers in the Houston Police Crime Lab
are taking appropriate actions following release of the independent
investigator's fifth report on the HPD Crime Laboratory and Property
In the just released report, the independent
investigator identified concerns in scientific work performed
in 43 DNA and 50 serology cases. Crime Lab managers said the majority
of the DNA cases had previously been identified by the Houston
Police Department. HPD officials will now begin reviewing the
DNA and serology cases in question and will share those files
with the Harris County District Attorney's office to help identify
what serology evidence was available at the time of trial and
what part it played in a conviction. With advances in DNA technology,
HPD no longer uses serology ABO blood typing and hasn't since
the early 1990s.
Checks and balances were put in place more than
two years ago to make sure the Crime Lab had an effective quality
control and effective technical review program. All areas of the
lab have received accreditation from ASCLD-LAB (American Society
of Crime Lab Directors - Laboratory Accreditation Board), with
the exception of the DNA section, which hopefully will be accredited
The independent investigator's fifth report addresses
concerns over work performed by two former analysts, James Bolding
and Christy Kim, and three other analysts who were relieved of
duty following findings in the fourth report. Those employees,
Raynard Cockrell, Joseph Chu and Mary Childs-Henry, were relieved
of duty in December 2005 and IAD investigations into their actions
are ongoing, but nearing completion.
"The number one goal in this whole investigative
process is to make sure that no innocent people were themselves
victimized," said Chief Hurtt. "We realize there were
significant problems in the Crime Lab and are taking extraordinary
steps toward making this not 'one of the best,' but 'the best'
Crime Lab in the country." Chief Hurtt further stated, "As
in the previous reports released by the independent investigator,
HPD's level of cooperation in this investigation process remains
consistent and transparent."
"In each concern raised by the independent
investigator, we have taken action," Chief Hurtt concluded.
"We very much look forward to the time when the independent
investigator provides recommendations to help us achieve the highest
standard of excellence."
information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at