Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dog Scent Evidence Not Admissible in Texas Courtroom

Dogs are used by members of law enforcement to complete searches of student lockers and cars when illegal drugs are suspected on a high school campus. If provided with a piece of clothing, search dogs can track the scent in hopes of discovering a missing child. When a convicted felon manages to escape from prison, the warden often places his hope on the ability of his search dogs to discover his charge's hideout. These takes are all important, to be sure, but apparently not accurate enough in their effectiveness to hold up in a Texas courtroom.

Judge Clifford Vacek decided this week that dog scent evidence is not yet advanced enough to hold up in court. This decision stemmed from a case involving Houston man Rodolfo Dominguez, who was charged with murdering a Fort Bend couple in April 2008. Several items taken from the home at which these crimes were committed were matched to Domiguez in a scent lineup. Judge Vacek determined that since there was no way to verify the results or repeat the tests, the evidence was not reliable enough to use as evidence in a capital murder case. Perhaps further developments in the field will make scent identification an accepted piece of evidence in our near future.

At BERTOLINO LLP, our dedicated criminal defense attorneys will work diligently to gather every piece of evidence that could be used in your favor if you have been accused of a crime. You deserve your day in court with a legal representative by your side who explored all possible avenues in arguing your innocence. If you are need of a defense attorney, please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today. Please let us know if we can be of assistance in a Texas Courtroom.

Should the judge have admitted this kind of evidence in court? What are your thoughts on this case?


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