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Posted: 10/10/2007 9:14:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2007 9:16:22 AM EDT by trwoprod]
Brown's name never, ever comes up. Truly amazing.

www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/10/10/houston.lab.ap/index.html?iref=topnews

Prosecutor apologizes 12 years after bogus rape verdictStory Highlights
Case highlights long-known "pervasive" problems with Houston crime lab

HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- A man who spent a dozen years in prison for a rape he didn't commit was freed Tuesday, the third inmate to be released because of problems with the Houston Police Department's crime lab.


Ronald Taylor laughs at a guard joking Friday about him getting a cheeseburger and milkshake upon his release.

1 of 2 Wearing dark clothes and carrying a red mesh gym bag and a paper sack containing his belongings, Ronald Taylor greeted his family with warm embraces outside the Harris County Jail.

"It hasn't really sunk in. I'm just glad to see my family," he said.

His plans included eating shrimp, a delicacy he missed in prison, and moving to Atlanta to marry Jeannette Brown, the fiancee who has waited for him since the mid-1990s.

But his first stop was City Hall, where Taylor, 47, urged the City Council to prevent other innocent prisoners from rotting behind bars.

"They don't have the finances. They don't have nobody to help them," he said. "I think something needs to be done about that."

Houston officials have been struggling to fix the crime lab for years. An independent audit in 2002 raised concerns about DNA analysis procedures. In June, a former U.S. Justice Department inspector hired by the city cited hundreds of "serious and pervasive" flaws in forensic cases handled by the lab.

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Taylor was convicted of rape in 1995 and sentenced to 60 years in prison. The victim picked him out of a lineup but acknowledged she only caught a glimpse of her attacker's face.

During his trial, a crime lab analyst testified that no body fluids were found on the victim's bedsheet. This summer, the Innocence Project paid to have a New Orleans lab retest the bedsheet. Semen that lab found matched the DNA of a man already in prison.

Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal apologized to Taylor in court Tuesday, and several council members echoed his regret.

Taylor and his mother, Dorothy Henderson, a food-services supervisor at the Walker County Jail, said they didn't blame the criminal justice system for his imprisonment.

"We've just been praying and I just had faith and I knew, I knew within my heart that one day he would get out," Henderson said.


OK, and who left people there who should have been removed? And who made the race/ethnicity of people who should have been removed the major issue (instead of whether or not they could do their job)? And whose watch did this all happen on? And who was too busy flying around on my nickel to do anything about the numerous, numerous, numerous warning signs?

That would be Brown.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 11:48:01 AM EDT
This is probably the tip of the iceberg. If this was happening there, imagine what was happening in other departments. The sad thing about this department, is it affects peoples lives, not just their pocketbooks.

You can sue the city, and probably live comfortably for the rest of your life, but is that just compensation for soending 12 years of your life in Huntsville tagged as a rapist?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 12:34:05 PM EDT
The same thing is going on in Dallas. The Innocence Project could spend all of their time just on our cases.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 1:08:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2007 1:11:27 PM EDT by Rino451]
Wonder whether he made the sex offender list and whether his name will ever get removed?

ETA Didn't find him in there - good for him!!!
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:03:34 PM EDT
They were discussing this on our local talk radio AM station the other day, and were quoting some spokesperson (for the city, PD, or DA's office, I can't remember) who said all this crime lab stuff shouldn't affect closed cases....
Link Posted: 10/11/2007 2:40:15 AM EDT
I wonder how this spokes person would feel if he/she rotted in jail for 15 years for sometime he did not commit?
Link Posted: 10/11/2007 7:17:24 AM EDT
Everyone is behaving as if this structural problem appeared out of nowhere and there were no very senior people who knew and dismissed the issues.
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