The Texas Department of Public Safety laboratory in Houston was responsible for thousands of botched results (some completely fraudulent) because of lab analyst Jonathan Salvador. This occurred from 2006-2012. The Texas Forensic Commission got wind of his questionable work and launched an investigation. One of the commissioners in the investigation, Dr. Nizam Peerwani concluded that the Texas Department of Public Safety lab's office "tolerated under-performance". So this was not just a problem from the analyst, but the whole lab shared culpability. Rather than properly address the problems after this scandal in order to improve testing, Texas DPS convinced our legislators to restricting test results in court only to them. Hence, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 38.35 was enacted that restricts test results admitted to court to be limited to those of a lab with the Texas DPS certification. Laboratories like Max Courtney's was shut down immediately. Max Courtney's lab was instrumental in exposing the bad lab problems of Texas DPS. According to Dr. James Booker, an expert witness, the shoddiness and problems of Texas DPS continue unabated. It is just more difficult to see and expose because independent labs can't retest the samples. No lab seeking DPS certification wants to jeopardize it by exposing problems with Texas DPS testing.
One would think that Texas DPS would have fired Jonathan Salvador after his fraudulent work was exposed and District Attorneys across the state were dismissing his cases. They did not. More sickening, a grand jury in May of 2012 refused to indict him despite the Texas Forensic Commission's findings. He finally resigned on his own in August of 2012. What does this state for society? Sometimes there are bad juries, no two ways around it. It's a pipe dream to expect Texas DPS to monitor themselves. We are only jeopardizing and denying due process to those accused of crimes in Texas by limiting forensics to an entity with a proven bad track record. Justice requires truth. Truth requires trust. A lawyer's job is not to trust the government, but the public should have some amount of trust- trust that can't be had in our present framework. It is time for the legislature to amend this problem. There are better labs with higher standards that the people of Texas should be, as a right of law, entitled to.