Tuesday, February 15, 2011

House passes Forensic Sciences Bill

Today, the State House passed HB 27 unanimously, which creates an independent Forensic Science Advisory Board to oversee the SBI Lab. The bipartisan bill (which was sponsored by Dem. Rick Glazier and Rep. Skip Stam) sailed through the house in less than 15 days.

The bill came in response to problems identified within the SBI lab, including misreporting of findings and hiding exculpatory evidence. A legislative panel, which included input from judges, lawyers, and police, recommended the measure to provide greater accountability within the SBI and make it less of an enforcement arm of the state.

A big part of the identified problem was that lab analysts were seeking convictions, rather than scientific and neutral determinations.

The bill (here) will now head to the Senate, where passage is likely.

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