4

Aggie Statistician Joins Forensics Lab Advisory Panel

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

A Texas A&M statistician has joined a national panel of experts tasked with creating an independent forensics lab in Houston.

Cliff Spiegelman is now part of the nine-member Technical Advisory Group, which "will provide input on best practices in forensic science and lab operations to help move part the [Houston Police Department] lab's troubled history," according to an A&M press release.

The HPD lab was temporarily shut down in 2002 "following an audit that revealed a variety of issues, from unqualified personnel and lax protocols, to shoddy facilities and compromised science," according to the release.

"The end goal is to have a crime lab that's not associated with the police department, so it's not trying to please its employer, but rather focused on doing good science," Spiegelman, a statistics professor, stated in the release.

Spiegelman has "been an ardent advocate of the need for the criminal justice system to better embrace science in the courtroom" and was a staunch opponent of a method of testing called comparative bullet-lead analysis that the FBI discredited in 2007, according to the release.

Spiegelman, who often works with the Innocence Project, said statistics is "an area of science where I have expertise, and there's a shortage of statistical help. And Houston is a community not far from our own. I think I can do some good and help cut down on the number of false convictions and on the number of guilty people walking around free," according to the release.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.