Evidence from 8,000 criminal cases has been mislabeled and improperly stored in the Houston Police Department's property room, police said Thursday.
The evidence, much of it from murder investigations, is in 280 boxes and dates from 1979 to 1991, police said. An evidence box should contain material from only one case under department rules.
Police Chief Harold Hurtt said it will take about a year for the department to finish going over the evidence. He blamed the situation on "poor work habits" and "sloppy efforts" by crime lab personnel.
Hurtt said investigators found that Jim Bolding, former head of the department's DNA lab, was responsible for improperly documenting about 900 submissions, some of which dealt with evidence found in the 280 boxes.
I wonder if jurors' expecting police crime laws to follow proper procedures is what one prosecutor was talking about when she said that "Television has put unrealistic expectations on what we can do with technology."
Come on guys - Get it together! Your work-product sends people to prison. If you can't take your jobs seriously, then don't expect jurors to take you seriously, either.