The Forensic Project is a unit of Capital Area Private Defender Service (CAPDS), which is a joint venture non-profit corporation. The creation of the CAPDS is a collaboration of the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association, the Austin Bar Association, and the Travis County Criminal Judiciary. The Capital Area Private Defender Service is dedicated to assisting indigent clients of Travis County facing criminal charges.
The Forensic Project of CAPDS is a post-conviction office that reviews convictions that rely upon mixture DNA evidence that was tested by the Austin Police Department (APD) DNA Lab prior to July 2016. The APD DNA lab was shut down in July of 2016 after the Texas Forensic Science Commission issued a report raising concerns with the lab's work. The Forensic Project is charged with: 1) conducting DNA materiality reviews in cases where the person convicted has requested such a review following receipt of a Brady notice; 2) submitting cases for expert scientific review of DNA test results; and 3) providing post-conviction representation to clients who have been impacted by issues at the APD DNA lab such as problematic DNA mixture calculations.