The Texas Forensic Science Commission has released the FY 2011 annual report.
On April 15, 2011, after extensive deliberations regarding the Willingham/Willis complaint filed by the Innocence Project in August 2007, the Texas Forensic Science Commission (“FSC” or “Commission”) issued its written report. (See www.fsc.state.tx.us).
This addendum supplements the report and should be read in conjunction with it.
This report sets forth the FSC’s observations regarding the history and progress of fire science, including incendiary indicators and related investigative issues. It takes a forward-looking approach, suggesting concrete training and educational initiatives. Observations regarding the state of fire science and suggestions for continued advancement are not limited to the Willingham and Willis cases, but rather apply generally to arson investigations in Texas.
Attorney General's initial response regarding the investigative authority of the Texas Forensic Science Commission.
Read the response here
Request for Attorney General opinion regarding the jurisdictional scope of the Texas Forensic Science Commission.
Read the request here
The Texas Forensic Science Commission (FSC) has hired Ms. Lynn M. Robitaille to serve as the first FSC General Counsel. She is the second employee of the relatively new agency, created by the Texas Legislature in 2005. The FSC has nine commissioners who oversee the investigation of allegations of forensic science negligence or misconduct in accredited laboratories, arising from evidence used in criminal cases.
Ms. Robitaille has over ten years of experience conducting internal investigations in response to criminal and civil actions, developing legal compliance and training programs, and advising clients in a range of litigation matters. Her work has included responding to allegations of professional misconduct by whistleblowers, law enforcement and regulatory agencies, and collaborating with forensic experts.
Ms. Robitaille graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with honors, and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University. She is involved in many pro bono endeavors, including serving as a mentor to high school debate students in Austin through the Jack Jenkins Debate Opportunity Fund.
“The addition of Ms. Robitaille to the FSC staff is a big step forward in the development of professional oversight of forensic science in Texas,” said FSC Chair John Bradley, who also serves as the elected district attorney in Williamson County. “This Commission is just beginning to develop an agency that can set national standards...