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Bradley dithers on Forensic Commission

This is an incredibly frustrating article about John Bradley, the handpicked new chair of the Texas Forensic Science Commission.

Bradley told The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday that he doesn’t know when the board will take up its investigations again. He said he needs time to review the commission’s two years’ worth of work and to study the role of its members and the process they should use in moving forward.

“It is too important as a symbolic case, and as much as a real case, for us not to finish that work,” Bradley said of the Willingham case. “But at the same time, I want to make sure the work is done in a way that is professional and has utmost integrity.”

I’ve got to agree with Grits here. Is Bradley saying that the work done so far was not “professional and has utmost integrity”? How would he even know since he says he needs to stop everything they’re doing so he can have the time to read up on all of it?

Bradley said the timetable for the board to act is also unclear because the governor has two more positions to fill, and he wants to wait until all new members are on board.

But that doesn’t stop you from saying that you intend to continue the board’s work, and in particular to reschedule that meeting that you canceled once Perry named you Chair. And now that you are the Chair, you could help move things along by calling on Perry to fill those positions as quickly as possible so that you and the rest of the Commission can get down to all that important work you’ve been charged with doing. Unless you’re so helpless that all you can do is twiddle your thumbs in the meantime, of course.

Bradley said that looking back on cases to see if bad science played a role is important, but mostly as it applies to future cases.

“It is my experience that leadership is best applied to moving forward rather than looking back,” he said.

Bradley said he can’t satisfy critics who believe he was placed on the commission to stymie the Willingham investigation.

“All I can do is reassure people that … from this day forward, all of the decisions the commission makes will be in the best interest of advancing forensic science in Texas and that there is no preconceived notion of how that should be done,” he said.

Dude, all you need to do is say publicly that you intend to finish the work your predecessor started, and most of us critics will back off and give you a chance to prove wrong all of these notions, which are increasingly supported by empirical evidence. The longer you dilly-dally and mouth meaningless platitudes to the press and cancel educational roundtable meetings, the more we have reason to believe we’re right to think it’s all about politics. You are making this hard on yourself, not us. Dog Canyon, BOR, and EoW have more.

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  1. David says:


    Sounds like SOP in Texas. Not that I’d say PA is any better, but TX is notoriously bloodthirsty, and really isn’t going to tolerate any change in that attitude as long as the legacy of GWB lives on.

    This has really struck me as one of the least surprising bits of news to come of Texas in a while…

  2. […] right then. Bradley now has a complete team to work with, so that’s one fewer excuse for not rescheduling that meeting and for not meeting other obligations. The clock is officially ticking. Will Bradley take action […]