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TITLE 37PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONS
PART 15TEXAS FORENSIC SCIENCE COMMISSION
CHAPTER 651DNA, CODIS, FORENSIC ANALYSIS, AND CRIME LABORATORIES
SUBCHAPTER DPROCEDURE FOR PROCESSING COMPLAINTS AND LABORATORY SELF-DISCLOSURES
RULE §651.308Investigative Reports

(a) Written report requirements. If the Commission approves a full investigation, the Panel shall coordinate the completion of the investigation and draft a written report, including a recommendation for final disposition to a quorum of Commissioners. The Panel may delegate the initial draft of the report to Commission staff. An investigative report or recommendation is not final and does not represent the conclusions of the Commission until a final report is adopted and issued by the quorum of Commissioners. Following consideration of the recommendation for final disposition from the Investigation Panel, the Commission shall issue a report using the criteria set forth in Article 38.01, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(b) Investigations of accredited crime laboratories and accredited forensic disciplines only. For investigations involving accredited crime laboratories and accredited forensic disciplines, the Commission may:

  (1) find there is insufficient credible information to conclude that professional negligence or professional misconduct occurred in the forensic analysis;

  (2) find there is sufficient evidence to conclude that professional negligence or professional misconduct occurred in the forensic analysis;

  (3) require retrospective re-examination of evidence as appropriate;

  (4) require corrective action and follow-up as appropriate.

(c) All Commission investigations. For all Commission investigations, regardless of whether they involve accredited crime laboratories and accredited forensic disciplines, the Commission’s report may:

  (1) make observations regarding the integrity and reliability of the forensic analysis conducted;

  (2) identify applicable best practices; and

  (3) make other relevant recommendations.

(d) Any finding by the Commission is not a comment upon the guilt or innocence of any individual and is not necessarily a basis for relief in litigation or in any other forum. Reports of the Commission are not admissible in a civil or criminal action.

(e) The Commission shall make the final report available to the public on the Commission's website and provide a copy, as applicable, to the:

  (1) prosecutor, judge, defendant and defense attorney involved in the underlying criminal case, if any;

  (2) Board of Pardons and Paroles;

  (3) Director of the Department of Public Safety;

  (4) Governor;

  (5) Lieutenant Governor;

  (6) Speaker of the House of Representatives;

  (7) complainant; and

  (8) actor(s) and accredited laboratory, facility or entity involved in any part of the forensic analysis.

(f) Open records limitation. Pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 38.01 §10, information that is filed as part of an allegation of professional misconduct or professional negligence or that is obtained during an investigation of an allegation of professional misconduct or professional negligence is not subject to release until the conclusion of an investigation by the Commission.


Source Note: The provisions of this §651.308 adopted to be effective January 30, 2018, 43 TexReg 473

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