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Briefcase: Independent Crime Labs

An interview with guest Sandra Guerra Thomspon


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Crime labs provide important evidence that can solve criminal cases. Sandra Guerra Thompson, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center, believes in protecting the interests of justice. She authored "Cops in Lab Coats," to help lawyers better understand these issues.

"Crime labs have a history of focusing more on helping police and prosecutors get convictions than on scientific research," Professor Thompson said. "To protect against conflicts of interest, forensic labs should be made independent."

Thompson serves on the Board of the Directors of the Houston Forensic Science Center, which replaced the HPD Crime Lab in 2014. "With its rigorous checks and balances, Houston's new lab is now nationally recognized as a model for an independent lab," she said. "It produces high-quality, timely results in an unbiased setting."