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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:A Harris County jury convicted the applicant of the offense of capital murder, answered the special issues submitted pursuant to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 37.071, and the trial court, accordingly, set punishment at death. This court first abated the appeal, and then affirmed the conviction and sentence on direct appeal. Applicant filed a post-conviction application for writ of habeas corpus in the convicting court on Aug. 29, 1997. This court subsequently denied relief on May 31, 2000. The applicant filed a document entitled “Motion for Extraordinary Relief” asserting that this Court should vacate the order of the trial court setting the date of execution due to problems associated with the Houston Police Department Crime Lab and to order discovery of all of the uncataloged evidence in the possession of the Houston Police Department. The court, in an unpublished per curiam opinion, finds it to be without merit. DISSENT:Price, J. “A Harris County jury convicted the applicant on the basis of evidence processed at the Houston Police Department crime lab. The reliability of the crime lab and the evidence processed there has been called into serious question. Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt has said,”I think it would be very prudent for us as a system, a criminal justice system, to delay further executions until we’ve had an opportunity to re-examine evidence that played a particular role in the conviction of an individual that was sentenced to death.’ The Houston Police Chief does not have confidence in the reliability of the evidence used in cases such as the applicant’s.” “In his application for original habeas corpus relief, the applicant notes that serious concerns have been raised about the firearms identification unit of the HPD crime lab. The applicant’s conviction was based on firearms identification evidence. Until these concerns have been addressed, I would not execute any defendant whose conviction was had on the basis of evidence processed at the HPD crime lab.” “Because a death sentence cannot be reversed once carried out, I would grant a stay of execution in this case until the evidence used to convict the applicant can be independently verified. I suggest that there be a moratorium on all executions in cases where convictions were had based on evidence from the HPD crime lab until the reliability of the evidence has been verified.” “Because a majority of the Court votes otherwise, I respectfully dissent.”

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