Harris County DA announces changes for evidence handling
Oct. 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.