Lying about evidence was the universal practice regarding forensic hair evidence up till 2000. People were executed.
We can hope that the people who were executed or who died in prison were, in fact, guilty. The hair follicle evidence was not necessarily the only evidence that the juries and judges heard.
Does that comfort you?
Consistently lying—euphemized as giving “flawed testimony”—is inexcusable. The people who did it should be prosecuted. Why won’t they be? One reason I suspect is that they could provide compelling testimony that the agency hired and promoted them on the basis of the job they did fooling juries. Since they were probably convinced that the accused persons were guilty, they found it easy to rationalize. Furthermore, to some extent people were taught certain methods and managed to not think about the implications or the actual science involved. I suppose that might be a mitigating factor. But maybe not. If people are going to pose as scientists they should be expected to think like scientists.
You can read all about the claims the FBI is making at the Washington Post.
The review confirmed that FBI experts systematically testified to the near-certainty of “matches” of crime-scene hairs to defendants, backing their claims by citing incomplete or misleading statistics drawn from their case work.
In reality, there is no accepted research on how often hair from different people may appear the same. Since 2000, the lab has used visual hair comparison to rule out someone as a possible source of hair or in combination with more accurate DNA testing.
Remember, the chances of this being the only FBI corruption are remote. The Bureau is still willing to trash the First Amendment and jail people in order to keep up the polygraph pretense that they have equipment that can tell if you are lying. Does anyone think that, in 2000, the FBI suddenly grew a conscience? It is much more likely that they realized they had gone too far, realized the truth would come out, and pursued a strategy of delay and containment so they could pretend that the issues were at least fifteen years old.
To this day, while promoting themselves as the experts in forensic science and technology, the FBI conducts interviews without audio-recording the conversation. They take notes and those notes are treated as unquestionable records of what was said. Why? How is that possible?
In a statement, the FBI and Justice Department vowed to continue to devote resources to address all cases and said they “are committed to ensuring that affected defendants are notified of past errors and that justice is done in every instance. The Department and the FBI are also committed to ensuring the accuracy of future hair analysis testimony, as well as the application of all disciplines of forensic science.”
Peter Neufeld, co-founder of the Innocence Project, commended the FBI and department for the collaboration but said, “The FBI’s three-decade use of microscopic hair analysis to incriminate defendants was a complete disaster.”
“We need an exhaustive investigation that looks at how the FBI, state governments that relied on examiners trained by the FBI and the courts allowed this to happen and why it wasn’t stopped much sooner,” Neufeld said.
What on Earth!? Why should anyone believe these people? It is taken for granted that the FBI, who may have killed innocent people in order to preen as trustworthy experts, is completely trustworthy to clean their own house?
No. The whistleblowers that the FBI has driven out of their ranks should be collected and authorized to start a new investigative agency, and the FBI should be abolished. Period.
I’ll leave aside the question of whether we even need a national investigative agency or whether the Constitution authorizes such a thing. But if we were serious about ending the regime of fraud and deceit we would stop empowering the people in charge of the fraud and deception.
Notice that the FBI was not only an organization for supplying false testimony at trial; it was also a tax-fed purveyor of pseudo-science to all local law enforcement:
Also, the same FBI examiners whose work is under review taught 500 to 1,000 state and local crime lab analysts to testify in the same ways.
So these people used their prestige of the FBI to seduce and corrupt others all over the country.
Think about all the TV shows and movies that portray the FBI as the center of cutting edge of forensic science. You need to come to grips with the idea that it is very likely that it is all science fiction propaganda—from the polygraph testing to the psychological profiling. We have no reason to trust anything these people say.
The FBI is a con.