The FBI Faked A Whole Field of Forensics

So claims this article in Slate, based on another article in the Washington Post.
"The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.... Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far.”

The shameful, horrifying errors were uncovered in a massive, three-year review by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Innocence Project. Following revelations published in recent years, the two groups are helping the government with the country’s largest ever post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

Chillingly, as the Post continues, “the cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death.” Of these defendants, 14 have already been executed or died in prison."
The article goes on to interview an expert who says that the problem generalizes. "Nor is the problem limited to bad hair cases—much the same type of eyeballed comparison is done on bite marks, ballistics, fibers, and even fingerprints."

I begin to see why they think we should be afraid to cross these folks.


raven said...

We were just talking about trust...
I don't mind hardass tough pro's- as long as they are not corrupt venal criminals. The reports on the crime lab falsifying reports came out years ago-and the doubly damning thing is that this is not a mistake made in the heat of battle, so to speak- it was cold, calculated and designed to convict, regardless of facts. Despicable behavior. Concealing exculpatory evidence is exactly the same as bearing false witness-not only a crime, but a sin.

E Hines said...

I begin to see why they think we should be afraid to cross these folks.

No, it's reason to go on the offensive and not let the Progressive-Democratic Party, the same Party that spent so many long years protecting the J Edgar Hoover FBI from serious scrutiny and consequence, from protecting today's misbehaving FBI leadership and the misbehaving State of the last administration.

It's an argument, too, for making it easier to fire civil servants who won't get with the new culture that just got elected. It's not their job to work to their own ends.

Eric Hines