Mark Lassiter recently spoke to Jennifer Emily of The Dallas Morning News’s Crime Blog about appealing to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals over a ruling made by the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas. The 5th Court of Appeals overturned a decision previously made by criminal court Judge Nancy Mulder, who granted an order to test for diseases in the room where blood is drawn at the Dallas County Jail.
Lassiter’s client was charged with misdemeanor DUI in February of 2015. After Mark Lassiter argued that the room and chair that was used to draw blood from his client was not sanitary, Mulder granted an order to test for diseases. However, in the 5th Court of Appeals, Chief Justice Carolyn Wright overturned Mulder’s order citing that Lassiter’s client did not get sick after having his blood drawn.
In response to Wright’s decision, Lassiter told the Crime Blog, “At the end of the day, they’re saying that because my guy didn’t get sick, we shouldn’t have access for the testing.” He added “They’re saying we should wait until someone gets some horrific disease: strep, hepatitis, AIDS …”
One of the major issues the 5th Court of Appeals took with Lassiter’s case was what it perceived as a lack of evidence that his client’s health had been affected or that the room where the blood was drawn was unsanitary. Lassiter told the Crime Blog that Mulder is best suited to determine what evidence is necessary in her court, not the more distant 5th Court of Appeals.
Lassiter is certainly not the first to call the blood-draw methods of law enforcement into question. In fact, former State District Judge John Creuzot threw out a case involving a Dallas police officer over concerns about sanitation. In that case, the officer that oversaw the blood-draw rooms testified that he did not believe that the rooms in question were clean.