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Harris County DA announces changes for evidence handling

October 17, 2017

HOUSTON (AP) — The Harris County district attorney is demanding immediate notice of any problems with evidence and requiring those problems to be resolved before a prosecutor may accept a defendant’s plea deal.

District Attorney Kim Ogg announced the requirement Tuesday as one of the results of a committee charged with devising community action plans. The study resulted from recent controversies involving officer-involved shootings, bail reform and mishandled evidence.

Ogg said discussions are underway to create a regional property room to store evidence collected by all Harris County law-enforcement agencies.

In capital murder trials, prosecution experts will be required to undergo what Ogg called “robust review and evaluation” by DA’s office leadership.

Immigration status won’t be a factor in prosecutors’ bail recommendations unless the suspect has previously forfeited bond or failed to appear.

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