By Michelle Seiler-Tucker, Special for USDR
Over the weekend the Department of Justice and the FBI admitted that examiners in hair forensic units have been giving incorrect testimony for years. In those cases, 14 out of the 32 defendants found guilty have already been executed or died in jail.
Justice Department officials have known for years that flawed forensic work might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people, but prosecutors did not tell the defendants or their attorneys about these mistakes—even in many cases they knew were troubled. Instead of releasing these life altering mistakes, they only made them available to prosecutors in charge of affected cases. Federal authorities launched the investigation in 2012, but it was just over the weekend that they finally came clean publicly.
As a result, hundreds of defendants nationwide remain in prison or on parole for crimes that might merit exoneration, a retrial or a retesting of evidence using DNA because FBI hair and fiber experts may have misidentified them as suspects. More disturbingly is that because of these wrongful errors that were KNOWN but left never addressed and in secret. So far to date, twenty-six of the 28 examiners overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far; and overall, calls to defense lawyers indicate and records documented that prosecutors disclosed the reviews’ results to defendants in fewer than half of the 250-plus questioned cases. Meanwhile, Justice Department officials said that they met their legal and constitutional obligations when they learned of specific errors, that they alerted prosecutors and were not required to inform defendants directly.
This is just another example of dysfunctionality within the most troubled government department within our nation. The solution is to run it like a business. Big flaws like that would get a business sued to the point of bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the government is already bankrupt but still operational. Confusing isn’t it? There is a reason why companies that cannot uphold their merit or worth are forced to shut down. Why can’t the government to held up to the same standards? Well, perhaps it is because they are the ones voting on their own rules. It is an absolute mess. As the leading authority on buying, selling and fixing businesses, I can say that if this department of the government was in need of my expertise even I—who has a 99% success rate—could not save them. There is something seriously corrupt and dysfunctional within our governmental organization. Like all businesses I must fix, a big piece of it falls on management. It comes down to the people we elect. It is important to make educated, well read and thoroughly discussed decisions regarding those we choose to vote for. This is supposed to be the land of the free and just. DNA is supposed to be a fool proof identification tactic..not one done by fools! Was there some form of another instance of miscommunication between the parties, or are the parties not speaking again?
The forensic hair unit incident that has been ONGOING does not necessarily mean innocent people were put to death. There could have been additional evidence that won the jury over. However, such mistakes are not acceptable, and would never be forgiven or overlooked if they were to be at fault in the hands of a business who was hired to perform such a task. FBI mistakes aside, this is one of the largest forensic scandals in US history, and hopefully an eye opener for voting citizens of this nation. Our country is at a tipping point. We are so close to falling off the edge, and I hope we don’t but I’m packing my parachute just in case.