FBI admits to giving flawed testimony for decades

An "elite FBI forensic unit" admitted that for two decades, nearly every examiner "gave flawed testimony" (aka lied) about hair sample evidence in criminal trials. And geepers, they sure feel bad about all those people who were executed in prison because of it.

Washington Post:

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, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.

University of Virginia law professor Brandon L. Garrett said the results reveal a “mass disaster” inside the criminal justice system.

Remember this the next time the FBI asks for an encryption backdoor and promises not to abuse it.

Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com

Notable Replies

  1. Sure, but this minor injustice is a small price to pay for all the time they saved. Investigating is hard.

  2. Another entry for the Newspeak to English dictionary.

    Flawed testimony = perjury

  3. Shuck says:

    Man, this isn't even the first time in the last year or so that it turns out that FBI testimony on a whole class of forensic evidence was deeply flawed (and in the prosecution's favor). Good thing it wasn't being used in death penalty case... oh, fuck.

  4. My query is how many more of these "revelations" regarding corrupt / lying police/feds have to come out before we stop treating LEO testimony as being "beyond reproach" in the courtroom?

  5. What do you expect from assholes who park like this?

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

28 more replies