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False FBI Testimony Tainted Hundreds Of Conviction Cases

The FBI and Justice Department have confirmed over the weekend that a rogue FBI forensics team influenced hundreds of cases with bogus testimony.

An elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in nearly every trial they participated in for more than 20 years before 2000, affecting hundreds of cases in 46 states and the District and affecting 32 death sentences, 14 of whom have already been executed or died in prison, the Washington Post reports.

Twenty-six of the forensic team’s 28 hair analysis experts gave flawed testimony that favored prosecutors in 95 percent of the cases in which they participated.

The huge number of cases tainted by the testimony has Congressional leaders calling for an investigation. The FBI has said it will notify hundreds of defendants that they were convicted using flawed testimony, and some could appeal.

This recent evidence gives heavy credence to the growing criticism over the science and internal standards behind hair analysis. Before the proliferation of DNA evidence, hair analysis use was more dubious, and the FBI has acknowledged there were inadequate written standards for hair analysis experts.

A 2012 Washington Post investigation found that hundreds of innocent people may have been convicted by questionable hair analysis, sparking more investigation into the subject.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Innocence Project are working with the DOJ and FBI on an ongoing review of conviction cases which brought this report to light. They still have 1,200 more cases to investigate.

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