Important memo for prosecutors from DPS

Posted: Thursday, July 9, 2015
Updated: Friday, July 10, 2015

Many prosecutor offices have received a memo (attached below) from the Texas Department of Public Safety dated June 30, 2015, reporting that the FBI has revised its population database on which it relied to offer calculating match statistics in criminal investigations. The memo also advises that DPS has corrected any errors and has empirically demonstrated a minimal impact on calculations used to determine the significance of an association. The memo concludes that the corrections have no impact on an inclusion or exclusion of a victim or a defendant in any result, but if requested in writing DPS will recalculate and report statistics in any case.

The Texas Forensic Science Commission has a formal meeting in August in which they will review this memo and discuss the issue, and we will report back to you then if there are any additional developments. There is not a concern at this point that this recalculation would impact any past cases, but we will keep you informed if any additional issues come up.