The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) admits that hundreds of flawed or “inaccurate” forensic testing results were submitted as evidence in hundreds of criminal trials over the last 30 years.
This means that there could be as many as hundreds of innocent convicted people in prison for crimes that they did not commit, dating as far back as the 1980s.
Unfortunately, among the possible wrongfully convicted were 32 people who received the death penalty; of which 14 of those people have been executed, based on forensic testing results submitted during trial.
The US Justice Department does acknowledge fault and said (via statement) that they and the FBI are “committed to ensuring that affected defendants are notified of past errors and that justice is done in every instance.”
What does this mean for the hundreds of people who may have been wrongfully convicted?
Wrongful incarceration is not only an injustice to the innocent, but also to the victim(s) as well as the community collectively. Incarcerating the wrong person for a crime certainly doesn’t make the neighborhood any safer and the taxpayers foot the bill.
R&B singer and philanthropist John Legend recently launched “FREE AMERICA”, a nationwide campaign established in efforts to raise awareness about America’s incarceration problem and help find solutions to end mass incarceration throughout the U.S.
Follow Let’s Free America for more information.
The FBI has admitted large scale failings in the evidence some of its forensic experts gave in hundreds of criminal trials in the 1980s and 1990s.
Flawed evidence was given by 26 forensic examiners in the agency’s microscopic hair comparison unit which affected 268 trials, the Washington Post reported.
In more than 95 per cent of the cases forensic matches were overstated in favour of prosecution arguments, the newspaper said.
The cases included 32 in which defendants received the death penalty, and 14 of those have since been executed or died in prison.
The Washington Post said the figures had been established by the National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers and the Innocence Project.
Defendants involved in the cases are in 46 states and are being notified to consider if there are grounds for appeal.
An investigation began in 2012 after the Washington Post reported that flawed forensic matches of hair may have led to wrongful convictions.
In a statement the FBI and US Justice Department said they were “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, as well as the application of all disciplines of forensic science.”
Below is another article originally ran by the Huffington Post that exposes more of the disgusting and hate-filled commentary shared among officers and other public officials within our grand ole’ justice system.
The ramped media coverage of police officers shooting to kill unarmed black men in various cities across America are extreme examples of police brutality taking place within the criminal judicial system.
I am certainly not saying police have an easy job.
Quite frankly I couldn’t do their job, however law enforcement officers are supposed to be sworn to protect the public from the “bad guys”.
With exposure of this kind of conduct by ‘our police’ I am not so sure who the real bad guys are anymore.The jury is still out on that one!
Thank you to Angelique Christina for forwarding this article.
Via Huffington Post:
The release of racist and offensive emails by city officials in Ferguson, Missouri, touched off a firestorm of criticism across the country this week, with swift moral outrage and demands for immediate change.
It is the type of progressive change that was missing this time last year, when it was revealed that a similar series of emails were allegedly sent and received by white detectives at a Louisiana sheriff’s office.
Similarly to Ferguson, the racially charged emails depicted black men as animals, likened President Barrack Obama to a monkey and referred to African Americans as the “entitlement crowd.”
There was also an offensive joke referencing the rape of white women by black men.
“Two black guys are at a bar talking. One says to the other, ‘You ever notice after you have sex with a white woman that your eyes burn, your nose burns and you get all teary-eyed?’ The second black guy says, ‘Yeah all the time.’ The other says, ‘Why is that?’ The second guy says, ‘I think it’s the pepper spray.'”
Unlike Ferguson, there was no national outrage.
The Louisiana emails were exposed in May 2014 by Belinda Parker-Brown, president and CEO of Louisiana United International, a Slidell-based civil rights organization. According to Brown, the 13 email messages she obtained — nearly twice as many as those uncovered in Ferguson — were received and forwarded by two high-ranking St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office employees.
Last Thursday, city officials in Ferguson released to The Washington Post seven racist emails that included jokes about Obama, African Americans and Muslims. The release of the messages came in the wake of a Justice Department investigation into the 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by an officer with the Ferguson Police Department.
One of the Ferguson emails even references Louisiana:
“An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later, she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.'”
While the Ferguson and Louisiana emails are equally shocking, Parker-Brown told The Huffington Post she is not surprised by the ones that surfaced in her own community.
The Louisiana parish where the email exchanges allegedly took place is the same parish that former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke calls home.
It is also where Sheriff Rodney “Jack” Strain once said, “If you’re gonna walk the streets of St. Tammany Parish with dreadlocks and chee wee hairstyles, then you can expect to be getting a visit from a sheriff’s deputy.”
[Read More] on Huffington Post
A man who has spent nearly 30 years on death row in an Alabama prison for two murders in 1985 will walk free Friday thanks, in part, to new ballistics testing, local media reported.
For three decades, Anthony Ray Hinton maintained his innocence in the shooting deaths of John Davidson and Thomas Vason. Davidson was shot twice in the head on Feb. 25, 1985 after being forced into the cooler at the restaurant where he worked. On July 2, 1985, Vason was killed in a similar incident in which he was forced into the freezer of a different restaurant and shot twice in the head. Hinton was convicted of both murders and sentenced to death for Davidson’s case. Continue reading →