The Houston Forensic Science Center is hosting a symposium as part of its celebration of National Forensic Science Week. The symposium will include two panel discussions designed to bring attention to some of the biggest issues in the forensic community today. The first panel includes an exoneree who faced two execution dates for six murders he didn’t commit. It will address the national issue of drug exonerations resulting from faulty field testing and laboratory backlogs and how this impacts minority communities. This panel will discuss the practical and ethical challenges faced by attorneys representing individuals arrested on drug charges based on faulty field tests and addresses the new procedures established to prevent wrongful convictions in the future. The second panel will tackle the national rape kit backlog, the challenges laboratories face when eliminating the backlogs and the obstacles rape victims face due to these hurdles. This panel will also provide guidance for attorneys handling cases involving DNA evidence. Debbie Smith, a sexual assault survivor, will share her story as the keynote speaker. Ms. Smith is the founder of H-E-A-R-T, Hope Exists After Rape Trauma, and the 2004 federal act that provides forensic laboratories with funding to battle DNA backlogs, is named for her. Tom Allen, HFSC’s general counsel, will provide a morning overview of the Michael Morton Act, and its legal benefits and challenges.
- Thursday, August 11, 2016 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM (CDT)
- University of St. Thomas – 3800 Montrose Blvd, Houston, Texas 77006 – View Map
For more information, here is a link.