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Lab Tech Committed Misconduct and Defendant’s Conviction Set Aside

A habeas applicant was previously convicted of possession of a controlled substance and sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment. He did not appeal his conviction. The defendant contends that his due process rights were violated because a forensic scientist did not follow accepted standards when analyzing the evidence and therefore the results were unreliable.

A Department of Public Safety report shows that the lab technician who was solely responsible for testing the evidence in this case is the scientist found to have committed misconduct.

The Court of Criminal Appeals held that the technician’s actions are not reliable, and custody was compromised. The result was a due process violation, to which the defendant is entitled to relief.