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Byron Smith

Other Harris County Drug Cases
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On July 28, 2009, police in Houston, Texas arrested 33-year-old Byron Smith after they confiscated a substance from him that field-tested positive for cocaine.

On July 30, 2009, Smith pled guilty in Harris County Criminal District Court to possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to six months in the Harris County Jail.

On September 14, 2010, tests performed by the Houston Police Department crime laboratory were negative for the presence of any controlled substance.

The laboratory report was sent to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, but, along with hundreds of other similar reports, it was overlooked until years later.

Eventually, the District Attorney’s conviction integrity unit began notifying defendants of the lab results. In 2016, Smith’s defense attorney was informed of the negative test results. On June 23, 2016, the prosecution and defense jointly filed a state law petition for a writ of habeas corpus to vacate the conviction.

On July 27, 2016, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the writ and vacated the conviction. On August 24, 2016, the prosecution dismissed the charge.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 8/25/2016
State:Texas
County:Harris
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2009
Convicted:2009
Exonerated:2016
Sentence:6 months
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:33
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No