2016 Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. 1 (2016)

handle is hein.sag/sagtx0218 and id is 1 raw text is: 

                                      KEN PAXTON
                                  ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS

                                      January 8, 2016

Dr. Vincent J.M. Di Maio                        Opinion No. KP-0055
Presiding Officer
Texas Forensic Science Commission               Re: Responsibilities of the Texas Forensic
1700 North Congress Avenue, Suite 445           Science Commission under article 39.14 of the
Austin, Texas 78701                             Code of Criminal Procedure (RQ-0032-KP)

Dear Dr. Di Maio:

       The Texas Forensic Science Commission (Commission) asks about its responsibility to
notify relevant parties of exculpatory, impeachment or mitigating information under the Code
of Criminal Procedure.' Your specific questions are:

              (1) As a state agency with possession of information that may be
                  covered by Article 39.1[4]2 of the Texas Code of Criminal
                  Procedure, what is the Commission's notification responsibility
                  when it receives such information?

              (2) If the Commission notifies the prosecutor with jurisdiction over
                  the case, is that notification sufficient with the understanding the
                  prosecutor will assess the matter and determine whether
                  notification to the defendant is necessary? Or does the
                  Commission need to provide separate defendant notification?

              (3) If a laboratory disclosure involves professional misconduct by a
                  forensic scientist with the potential to impact criminal cases in
                  many different jurisdictions, does the Commission need to
                  notify the prosecutor in each jurisdiction or may it communicate
                  the information to the Texas District and County Attorney's
                  Association for distribution to its membership?

       'See letter from Lynn Garcia, Gen. Counsel, Tex. Forensic Science Comm'n, to Honorable Ken Paxton, Tex.
Att'y Gen. at 1, (July 15, 2015), https://www.texasattomeygeneral.gov/opinion/requests-for-opinion-rqs (Request

       2A telephone call to your office verified that your questions concern article 39.14 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure instead of article 39.15. Telephone conference with Tex. Forensic Science Comm'n (Sept. 10, 2015).

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