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UH Law Center Prof Thompson explains advancements in forensic science in museum lecture 

Professor Sandra Guerra Thompson

Professor Sandra Guerra Thompson

Feb. 5, 2020 — University of Houston Law Center Professor Sandra Guerra Thompson will explain how forensic science in Houston has improved dramatically in the past decade in a lecture Feb. 11 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

"The Real CSI: Getting Forensic Science Right" will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre.

Thompson, the Newell H. Blakely Professor of Law and director of the Criminal Justice Institute at the Law Center, was a board member of the Houston Forensic Science Center from its inception in 2013 until 2019.

The author of “Cops in Lab Coats,” Thompson will discuss how the forensic center’s improved procedures for testing and collecting evidence gives judges a more informed basis for determining the difference between good science and junk science.

Houston's forensics lab has implemented a blind testing program to monitor the reliability of the forensic testing processes, assuring greater accuracy and data to establish “error rates” in six disciplines: forensic biology (DNA), latent prints, firearms, toxicology, digital and multimedia evidence, and seized drugs.

“The HFSC’s blind testing program promotes quality in the testing process and should deter forensic fraud, which means that we can have confidence in the evidence produced to obtain convictions,” Thompson said. “The lab’s work can help exonerate the innocent while also aiding law enforcement in catching criminals.”

The lecture has been approved for 1 hour of Texas CLE.

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