Forensic Science

Number 25809
Subject Forensics
Source Washington Post
State Washington
Year 2012
Publication Date 4/17/2012; 4/18/2012; 4/28/2012; 7/11/2012; 12/23/2012; 12/14/2012; 4/22/2012; 7/17/2012; 12/15/2012
Summary A nine-month investigation found that Justice Department officials had known for years that flawed forensic evidence might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people but had not performed a thorough review of the cases. In addition, prosecutors did not notify defendants or their attorneys even in many cases they knew were troubled, forcing innocent defendants to stay incarcerated or on parole. The Post identified two District of Columbia men convicted largely on the flawed forensic work and testimony of FBI hair analysts who wrongly placed them at crime scenes. Since the Post report, both men have had their convictions vacated and judges have taken the unusual steps of fully exonerating the men so they can seek compensation from the government. As a result of The Post’s work, the Justice Department is reviewing more than 21,000 FBI Laboratory cases handled before 2000 to identify convictions that might merit exoneration, re-trial or re-testing of evidence.
Category Contest Entry
Keywords Forensics; FBI; Hair analysis; Exoneration
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