Flawed forensic work uncovered 17 years ago was used in the “tainted” convictions of some 60 US death row inmates, at least three of whom have since been executed, an FBI internal report said.
The problems were detected by the FBI’s inspector general’s office, which, in a 1997 report, found serious irregularities in the work of 13 examiners.
But in the years that followed, the US Justice Department failed to notify state justice officials that suspect testimony and flawed evidence had been used to secure some capital convictions, an inspector general’s report said.
“The department and the FBI did not take sufficient steps to ensure that the capital cases were the… top priority and were treated with urgency,” said the report released late Wednesday.
Specifically, FBI and Justice Department officials failed to let state penal officials know that the “convictions of capital defendants could be affected by involvement of any of the 13 criticized examiners.”
Inmates in some instances were only told about irregularities with the evidence — provided by investigators at an FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, outside Washington — years after the fact.
One examiner in particular provided “faulty analysis and scientifically unsupportable testimony (that) contributed to the conviction of an innocent defendant who was exonerated 27 years later, and the reversal of at least five other defendants’ convictions,” the report said.
The review found that the time lag from when federal law enforcement learned of problems with the evidence, and when they notified their counterparts at the state level was “very prejudicial” for some inmates.
“For some, they caused irreversible harm,” the IG’s report said, which said that actions have been taken after the fact “to ensure these defendants received appropriate notice of the possibility that their convictions were supported by unreliable evidence.”
The report said that management failures allowed the rogue examiners to practice for years, but that the problems have been dealt with and “most of the employees responsible for the review have left the Department or the FBI.”
Florida teacher suspended after boasting he’d have a 1000-student body count if he shot up his school
A teacher at Lakeland High School in Florida has been placed under a temporary risk protection order after boasting that he could rack up a 1,000-person body count if he perpetrated a school shooting.
Keith Cook, a math teacher and a veteran, described hypothetical acts of violence to students during a lockdown drill, including how if he were a school shooter, he'd first plant IEDs around the school, start shooting, drive panicked people into the areas where he had rigged up the explosives, and then detonate them. Some students were horrified by what he described.
If Trump were the raving mad King of Liechtenstein all of this would be comical
Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.
This week, a former White House official told Politico that “Trump’s been asking his government for some matter of months what can we do to make sure that China doesn’t get Greenland.”
Donald Trump and the Jews: He’s exactly why most of us vote for Democrats
If President Trump doesn't understand why a large majority of American Jews are Democrats, maybe he should take a look in the mirror.
In case you need a quick refresher, Trump sparked an enormous furor on Tuesday when he said, "I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." He added that "five years ago, the concept of even talking about this . . . of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people — I can't believe we're even having this conversation. Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they're defending these two people over the State of Israel?"