According to a new report on the work performed by the Houston Crime Lab issued by independent investigator Michael Bromwich, at least one capital case is among the 43 DNA cases and 50 serology cases processed at the lab since 1980 that have now been identified as having "major issues." This classification is defined as "problems that raise significant doubt as to the reliabilitiy of the work performed, the validity of the analytical results, or the correctness of the analysts' conclusions." Bromwich, who leads a team of forensic experts hired by Houston to examine the crime lab's problems, issued his fifth report on May 10th and noted that the case of death row inmate Derrick Lee Jackson is among a growing list of cases in which lab employees may have erred.
The report states that initial DNA testing in Jackson's case was performed by DNA lab chief James Bolding, who found the evidence was "inconclusive." When Jackson became a suspect, Bolding's interpretation of the evidence changed. "Without performing any additional testing, Mr. Bolding altered his worksheets . . . and issued a new report stating that (blood evidence) consistent with Mr. Jackson's (blood) type was found in two blood stain samples recovered from the crime scene," Bromwich's report noted. Jackson was subsequently sentenced to death in March 1998 for the murders of two Houston Grand Opera tenors. The major piece of evidence linking Jackson to the 1988 slayings was a bloody fingerprint found on the door in the singers' apartment.