Mayor names Thompson to Houston forensic science board

New board will create and manage operations of a crime lab unaffiliated with local police.

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May 24, 2012 – Mayor Annise Parker has nominated University of Houston Law Center Professor Sandra Guerra Thompson and eight others to serve on the governing board of the proposed Houston Forensic Science Local Government Corporation. Houston City Council is expected to act on the creation of the LGC and confirm its members June 6.

 “The people I have selected have varied backgrounds in science, law enforcement, public policy, business and defense of the accused,” said Mayor Parker in a released statement.  “Their perspective will be invaluable as we proceed forward toward my goal of a crime lab that is truly independent from law enforcement, prosecutors and political influence.”

Once approved, the Houston Forensic Science Center LGC will oversee operation of an independent center providing the city and area communities with accurate and timely analysis of forensic evidence and related services.

“I am very excited to have been selected to be on the LGC founding board with such a diverse group of people,” Thompson said. “The many cases of wrongful convictions have demonstrated that it is important for scientific and medical assessment in forensic investigations be separate from law enforcement efforts. It’s time for a change.”

 A national expert on criminal law and criminal procedure, Thompson is the director of the Criminal Justice Institute at the UH Law Center and editor of American Justice in the Age of Innocence.

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