Friday, April 29, 2011
Danielle Badeaux has posted The DNA's Over There... Right Next to the Jelly: The Problems with the Preservation of Evidence in Texas (Texas Tech Administrative Law Journal, Vol. 11, p. 333, 2010) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In “The DNA’s Over There… Right Next to the Jelly: The Problems with the Preservation of Evidence in Texas,” author Danielle Badeaux discusses the embarrassments that result from Texas’s preservation and storage methods for DNA materials. First the author argues that the ambiguities in the statutes governing DNA evidence lead to confusion. The article next describes the loss of evidence due to misplacement, mishandling, and degradation of samples that were preserved incorrectly. Additionally, the author examines how Texas’s guidelines for evidence retention make it almost impossible to appeal for testing of the evidence if more than a decade has passed.
Badeaux proposes several changes to make the system more efficient. First, the author argues that other states have statutes in place that make the guidelines much more specific and remove much of the ambiguity and confusion present in the Texas statutes. Next, she states that Texas could also revise the statutes that are currently in place to remove confusion. Finally, Badeaux suggests that Texas could leave preservation efforts up to each individual county and require that they have preservation methods in place.